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Old 18-07-2014, 04:41   #1
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Attacked By Marlin And Other Fish!

Attacked by Marlin and other fish!

We were sailing between Galapagos and the Marquesas Islands when I hooked a Marlin.

After much ‘fighting’ to get the marlin to the boat I was not sure what to do with it … I had not really planned on catching one of these and wanted to set it free.

I had caught the fish on a hand line and had fastened the line bit by bit to one of the cleats.

As I stood upright in clear view of the fish, it suddenly lunged up into the air right at me, I jumped to one side and it landed in the in the deck ‘nose tip’ first … I was somewhat startled by this sudden move!

After that it had released from the hook and disappeared but before long was circling about behind the boat before disappearing.

The only reminder I have of this event is the tip of its spike which snapped off when it collided nose first into the deck. I remember wondering afterwards if it was coincidence or if the fish deliberately went for me!

Why I raise this issue again … is that recently I met a friend who was also sailing these waters and caught a marlin. The catch was caught on video (I have a copy) and clearly shows at a certain point the marlin going into attack mode thrusting its spike at him. The marlin then releases and is freed from the hook … goes under the boat … comes up and throws itself backwards at my friend repeatedly trying to get its spike into him at what appears to be a form of revenge.

I found this interesting especially since another mate of mine who is a delivery skipper, a few years ago was delving a catamaran overseas, caught a marlin which then successfully ‘stabbed’ one of the crew members in the stomach and did a lot of damage.

Since we are cruisers and regularly catch fish, some as long as I am tall, I want to know from from other sailors / fishermen if they have had similar experiences with this, and is this a trait with certain fish!

Do certain fish have a tendency to ‘get even’.
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Old 18-07-2014, 04:52   #2
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Re: ATTACKED by MARLIN and other fish!

Many people have been stuck by a Marlin, it's more common than you might think, but yours is the first I have ever heard that it seemed intentional, and a repeated behavior.
They are predators though, so maybe this type of behavior is to be expected from a predator that is being preyed upon?
Most land predators anyway if attacked will fight back, I don't know about sea predators but why not?
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Old 18-07-2014, 04:53   #3
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Re: ATTACKED by MARLIN and other fish!

marlin are well know for attacking fishermen!
best to shoot them before trying to land or leave them on the line.
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Old 18-07-2014, 07:11   #4
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Attacked By Marlin And Other Fish!

I have caught well over 150 marlin and have released them all my the way. They do not intentionally try to attack you with their bill but as their characteristic is to jump both in and out of the water you certainly need to be very careful as the bill is a lethal weapon and many people have been injured and some even killed through being speared.

I have seen deckies speared while tracing them and an 800 pounder I was fighting came very close to jumping into the back of the boat during the fight. Check out my YouTube video below to see this.



BTW - the smaller fish are the most dangerous ones especially the small Black Marlin as they are the most acrobatic.

Spanish Mackeral and Wahoo are other fish that you need to be very careful of as they have teeth like razor blades and can inflict very nasty injuries once boated.

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Old 18-07-2014, 08:11   #5
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Re: Attacked By Marlin And Other Fish!

once i see a marlin on my hook i cut the line. problem solved.
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Old 18-07-2014, 08:26   #6
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Re: Attacked By Marlin And Other Fish!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gonesail View Post
once i see a marlin on my hook i cut the line. problem solved.
Really? Landing a big one has always been on my bucket list since i read the Old Man and the Sea when I was about 10 yrs old.
Maybe one day
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Old 18-07-2014, 09:48   #7
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Re: Attacked By Marlin And Other Fish!

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Really? Landing a big one has always been on my bucket list since i read the Old Man and the Sea when I was about 10 yrs old.
Maybe one day
sure landing a marlin on a big sportfishing boat is one thing but not on the stern of a sailboat
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Old 18-07-2014, 12:42   #8
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Re: Attacked By Marlin And Other Fish!

The worst thing about catching a Marlin is they are practically inedible. The meat is stringy like eating a really really unbelievably tough steak and there is a ton (literally in some cases) of it. Sold for cat food. About the only viable way to eat it is to smoke and dry it. Even then, it makes beef jerky eat like filet mignon. Fortunately, tag and release seems to be the predominant disposition of the fish in our local sport fishing fleet. When we first got here, all Marlin were landed and sold. Now, it looks like if the fish is still viable, they are tagged and released. Only the ones that are brought in dead or severely damaged during the fight are landed. Not a big thing even for those that want a mount. The mounts are not of the actual fish but just fiberglass unless it is one of the 'granders', thousand pound plus fish.

Marlin are very dangerous to land. The leader guy has to be very careful of that bill. Not unusual to end up with stitches. They have also been known to spear the boat itself.
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Old 18-07-2014, 12:53   #9
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Re: Attacked By Marlin And Other Fish!

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Originally Posted by gonesail View Post
sure landing a marlin on a big sportfishing boat is one thing but not on the stern of a sailboat
I'd still want to bring him up to the boat and look at him.
My understanding is that the hook is expelled by the fish pretty quickly so it's no death sentence to hook one.
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Old 18-07-2014, 14:58   #10
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Re: Attacked By Marlin And Other Fish!




Some very interesting replies - Really enjoyed watching this video!
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Old 18-07-2014, 15:02   #11
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Re: Attacked By Marlin And Other Fish!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozbullwinkle View Post
I have caught well over 150 marlin and have released them all my the way. They do not intentionally try to attack you with their bill but as their characteristic is to jump both in and out of the water you certainly need to be very careful as the bill is a lethal weapon and many people have been injured and some even killed through being speared.

I have seen deckies speared while tracing them and an 800 pounder I was fighting came very close to jumping into the back of the boat during the fight. Check out my YouTube video below to see this.



BTW - the smaller fish are the most dangerous ones especially the small Black Marlin as they are the most acrobatic.

Spanish Mackeral and Wahoo are other fish that you need to be very careful of as they have teeth like razor blades and can inflict very nasty injuries once boated.

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Interesting about the wahoo fish ... and really this goes to show my ignorance as we have caught a great number of these. We don't even have proper fishing gear and just trail a line tied off to the back of the boat ... so will have to start paying more attention to the dangers of cruising ... i.e. I am not a fisherman ... just need to catch them for the table so we have food to eat out here
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Old 18-07-2014, 18:08   #12
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Re: Attacked By Marlin And Other Fish!

Impi,

To answer your question, I don't think it's revenge. I think it is attacking whatever it can when it perceives itself attacked. Like lots of other large predators, as A64pilot suggested.

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Old 18-07-2014, 19:08   #13
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Re: Attacked By Marlin And Other Fish!

Buddy of mine caught this footage on his boat "Little Audrey" a couple of years ago.....



I had one stove in one of the starboard windows of the sports fisher I was driving in the late 80's, the last we seen of it was after we cut the line and diving away with the remnants of the venation blinds around his bill, estimated to be around a 1000lb....

Both of the above where very pi$$ed of fish just doing whatever it took to get of the hook, I can't say I have ever seen or heard of one coming back looking for revenge but who knows what evil thoughts are going through there tiny brain....
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Old 18-07-2014, 19:21   #14
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Re: Attacked By Marlin And Other Fish!

National geographic book on fishes 1939
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Old 18-07-2014, 19:58   #15
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Attacked By Marlin And Other Fish!

That footage from "Little Audrey" is great from one of its trips up to Cairns in Far Nth Queensland in Australia which is the same area where my footage was filmed as well.

Having so many different camera angles as well is awesome. These deckies were lucky not to get seriously injured on this day. I love the bit where the Marlin flicks the timber backrest from the gamechair over the stern which they had previously removed. The safest spot on board on this day was definitely up in the flybridge or the tower.



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