“I’ve never had a doubleheader on blue marlin, much less a triple,” says Scott. “I wasn’t about to lose these fish.”
At one point, according to Scott, all three blue marlins, weighing more than 100 pounds each, were jumping at the same time.
Luckily, the first blue marlin was landed, tagged, and released without mishap. But the remaining two marlins were not cooperating. Both fish ran in opposite directions, making it impossible to fight both simultaneously. Scott chose one fish and told Travis that when the other marlin ran off all the line on the reel, he was to hook another rod to the reel harness lug and toss the first rod overboard, hoping that the marlin wouldn’t run all the line off the second rod. You guessed it! That’s exactly what the marlin did.
“Hook on another rod,” shouted Scott. Travis followed orders, and now there were two trolling outfits trailing behind the marlin.
This may be hard to believe, but that marlin also peeled off all the line on that third rod. Scott was still determined to land all fish.
“Put on another rod,” he again shouted. Does a mate argue with his skipper? Not a chance! By this time, Scott had become possessed by the challenge, and he was going to land all three marlins at all costs. Travis hooked the fourth rod to the marlin that was already trailing three trolling outfits in its wake.
What happened next would test the determination of Ahab. The marlin did what they do best: Fight with all their strength. The fish ran all the line off the fourth rod. There was no stopping the fish, and Scott had no choice. The crew and fishermen had tagged and released one marlin, were fighting a second marlin, and the third marlin was dragging three trolling outfits through the ocean.
Did Scott call it quits? Not a chance. “Hook up the fifth rod, “ he shouted to Travis, who obediently hooked up the fifth rod and tossed the fourth rod into the sea. By this time, the doctors probably questioned the sanity and the wealth of their skipper.
All was going well, the doctor eventually landed that second blue marlin, and it was tagged and released. But then the fight with the third marlin ended tragically.
Now trailing a total of four 30-pound-class Hurricane trolling rods, four Shimano TLD20 reels, and more than 1,600 yards of monofilament in its wake, the marlin broke the line. Scott lost all his tackle, valued at nearly $2,000, but what he and his crew lamented was the loss of that third blue marlin.
Would Captain Stancyzk do it again? Would he risk all that expensive tackle to catch a fish that he planned to tag and release?
“Of course,” says Scott. “A triple header on blue marlin may happen once in a lifetime if you’re very lucky. You can always buy more tackle.”
This story may be tough to swallow. If you doubt it, just ask Captain Stancyzk yourself. You can find him at Bud N’ Mary’s Marina in Islamorada, Florida. Just look for the Catch 22.
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