Video: Kayak Angler Fights Black Marlin in Panama

Scott Mutchler took the experience of a lifetime after hooking right into a 600-pound black marlin whereas kayak fishing off the coast of Panama in Might. He fought the massive billfish for about 45 minutes and watched it breach the floor a number of occasions inside mere toes of his 13-foot boat.

An skilled fisherman who lives in Jupiter, Florida, Mutchler travels twice a 12 months to Los Buzos, a distant kayak fishing lodge on Panama’s Pacific Coast. Anglers there sometimes jig for big cubera, snapper, and roosterfish however sometimes get a possibility to tangle with a striped, black, or blue marlin.

On Might 23, Mutchler was fishing a spot referred to as Boya, about two miles offshore, the place anglers sometimes jig in water 140 to 170 toes deep. However the chunk was sluggish and there was just one bait college on the fish finder. After catching a bonita, Mutchler determined to attempt one thing completely different.

“I put that 6-pound bonita on a 12/0 circle hook. Then I put a 4-ounce financial institution sinker that I painted black on a black rubber band on the chief knot,” he instructed Discipline & Stream. “I let the bonita out about 150 toes and began sluggish trolling. I wished it to swim down along with his mates and seem to be a simple meal for a bigger fish.”

Simply then, he heard a shout from a close-by panga boat, a 30-foot craft that helps the kayak anglers. “I’ve received a marlin,” somebody shouted. The fish threw the hook when it lept however Mutchler and the opposite anglers had been excited to know there have been marlin round. The excitement intensified a couple of minutes later when Mutchler’s line slid sideways about 25 toes. “At first I believed it was caught within the rudder of a close-by kayak fisherman,” he remembers. “However when it shot 25 toes in the other way, it was clear that it was one thing huge.”

The Battle of a Lifetime Ensues

black marlin jumps right in front of kayak angler
The marlin jumped at the very least seven occasions in the course of the combat. Scott Mutchler

Just a few seconds later an enormous black marlin breached the floor. “I screamed ‘marlin!’ and the opposite kayakers parted just like the Purple Sea to make room,” he says. The fish breached at the very least seven occasions in the course of the combat, which is depicted in an epic video shot from Los Buzos information Adam Fisk’s panga boat.

“My first thought when he breached was simply the sheer enormity of the scale of the fish,” Mutchler says. “And the following thought was how extremely lovely and majestic they’re. They’re gold, blue, black, and silver they usually have these gigantic eyes and a extremely huge invoice. Seeing it up shut and in particular person was breathtaking.”

marlin jumps and shakes head in front of kayak angler
Mutchler says the closest factor he may evaluate the battle to is bullfighting.

“After which, in fact, the opposite factor is you’re in a 13-foot plastic boat, and this animal actually may do no matter he desires with you,” Mutchler provides. “There’s positively a way of respect and awe as a result of you already know that at any second he may flip the script and simply completely take management.”

Taking part in a robust, 600-pound billfish in a Hobie Outback is tough. Mutchler stored the kayak pointed in direction of the fish to keep away from tipping over. He remembered to not maintain the rod too excessive to stop it from snapping. And he made positive to set his drag free sufficient to maintain his line from breaking, or worse, from being dragged into the water. Mutchler says that a number of kayak anglers at Los Buzos have hooked marlin previously, however just one, information Adam Fisk, was in a position to reel it in shut sufficient to achieve the chief materials—till now.

“Sometimes we’re not making an attempt to get the fish proper up beside the kayak as a result of to do this, you’re speaking a few 5- to 10-hour course of, and also you’re gonna find yourself most likely killing the fish half the time,” explains Mutchler, who fishes with Fisk when he’s at Los Buzos. “It’s thought-about a ‘catch’ when you reel the chief as much as your first rod information.” Mutchler says he reeled his 12-foot chief inside a foot or two of the rod tip a number of occasions earlier than lastly getting it by the information. Then he handed off the rod to somebody in one of many panga boats.  

“At that time, what they’re making an attempt to do is get the marlin shut sufficient to unhook it,” he says. “If they will’t try this, they tighten the drag and break him off as quickly as potential. That’s what ended up occurring. As soon as I handed the rod off to the chase boat and allow them to attempt to get him to the boat, he received offended and took off on a 200-yard run. There was no method they had been going to get him again to the boat after that.”

Learn Subsequent: How to Kayak Fish for California Halibut

Mutchler jokes that he’s watched the video of the battle “about 700 occasions, as my spouse can inform you… It was virtually like an out-of-body expertise like another person had caught him as a result of I used to be so centered on not screwing up on the time. However seeing it once more on the video, I’ve to say, it was one of the crucial intense experiences of my life.”

“I want I may describe it higher, however it’s exhausting to search out something to check it to,” he provides. “Perhaps bullfighting.”

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