The Day a Huge Marlin was "Landed" after being "Hammered" into Submission!
Some Billfish...and a Modern Fishing Appliance!Click thumbnail to view full-size
Get rid of the rod and line...here's a hammer!
The “Hammered” Marlin
Most devotees of fishing for the huge, finny creatures known collectively as Billfish: Sailfish, Sword and Sawfish, and the Blue, Striped and Black Marlin, spend a lot of money buying or renting equipment: rods, reels, lines and tackle that is strong enough to withstand the incredible strength of these monsters of the deeps.
Few bricklayers or construction workers in the Cape (Cabos) region of South Baja have aspirations to be game fish hunters. The pittance they are paid in Mexico just supports them and the wife and kids. But does this stop them enjoying a nice bit of fried or smoked Marlin for lunch? Not on your nelly, bro’! In fact, they may well have started a craze that will get them in the Guinness Book of Records.
It was a typical Friday morning in this little paradise of San Jose del Cabo. There were the usual sun-worshipers exposing too much of themselves to killer rays; a few kiddies flying kites; a passel of trinket vendors preventing tourists with crudos from sleeping them off (hang-overs). In the distance, the happy yells from a pick-up volley-ball game could be heard, horses cantered by, leaving deposits unwelcome in any bank.
Right between the beach and the access road, a group of workers were putting the finishing touches to the third phase of the El Zagate Condominiums overlooking the bright, blue Sea of Cortez.
Suddenly, from the sixth floor, still open to the sea, there came an excited “Grito.” (shout). A sharp eyed scaffolder has seen a splashing in the surf near to shore which he recognized as some large fish. With a “Geronimo!” or, at least, a “Viva Mexico!” he and a few of his workmates came sliding down the ladders with their tools still in their hands, plus a couple of handy pieces of re-bar.
Into the surf splashed this intrepid team and began flailing away at the surprised fish, a Blue Marlin, with all sorts of construction tools. But the unanimous verdict afterwards was that the little bloke with the ball-peen hammer had administered the coup de grace that stunned the Marlin and allowed them to drag it inshore.
Meanwhile, a group of their fellow workers, tourists and anyone else within sight and sound of the commotion, cheered on the plucky, bruised and soaked hunters, most of whom had never seen a Marlin before, much less caught one.
The 130-pound prize was escorted proudly to the workers open air kitchen where it provided a welcome relief with the rice and beans that lunch time from the usual stringy meat tacos or ham and cheese burritos. It was enough to easily feed the 20-strong work force, plus some over for those savvy enough to get in the bread line.
No one lost any tears for the Marlin which has probably been gut-hooked during an earlier encounter; something had driven it into the beach where it would have undoubtedly expired some time later.
The Marlin was not particularly large, -they can go well over a thousand pounds - but its capture is sure to go down in local lore where it will grow and grow in the telling. “Cielos! Eet was 20 feet long and took two days to subdue!” It’s not often a billfish is captured using a 2-pound ball peen hammer.
Meanwhile, local entrepreneurs are wondering how they can take advantage of the situation and promote the ball-peen as a cheap and effective alternative to other, more traditional and expensive fishing methods. To help them make a decision they have prepared a questionnaire for local fishing enthusiasts among the prospective buyers of the condominiums
Perhaps their questionnaire will go like this:
1) Do you usually go to the fishing grounds in foul-weather gear, a bikini, or down at heel flip-flops and overalls?
2) What type of rod do you favour, Shimano, Diawa, or Stanley Ball-peen?
3) What type of gaff do you use, aluminium, wood, or re-bar?
4) What crew do you usually bring along, experienced local fishermen, experienced Gringo fishermen, or four unwashed Indian hod-carriers from Chiapas?
5) How long does it usually take you to bring in a 150 pound Marlin, all day, several hours, four minutes.
Only those ticking number three to the above questions will be allowed to live at El Zagate and fish for bill fish in these waters.
The author witnessed this amusing confrontation some years ago.