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Fish Tales


Marlin Musings


Steve Bledsoe is a former president of the Dana Anglers. Join him as he muses about our favorite pastime ...


If you find it difficult to catch local marlin, you're not alone. According to the NOAA 1996 Billfish Newsletter, catching marlin in Southern California is no easy task. The 1996 newsletter is a report on the 1994 marlin fishing season worldwide (Hey, it's run by a branch of the federal government; you don't really expect to see results of the 1995 season in 1996 do you?).

Results of the survey revealed that it took an average of 2.47 days of fishing to capture one marlin, or 0.47 marlin caught per fishing day. That's the average for the planet! We should be so lucky.

According to the same survey, Southern California waters yielded 0.09 marlin per fishing day. This means that it took an average of 11.1 days of fishing to capture 1 marlin here at home. To add insult to injury, Southern California yielded fewer marlin per day than any other known marlin fishing spot on earth!

Let's see now ... that's 2 cases of beer + 3 bags of chips + 6 pieces KFC + 24 mackerel + 8 cans of cat food + 50 lbs. of ice + 12 hours + 190 gallons of fuel x 11.1 days ... Heck, all you need is 23 cases of beer, 34 bags of potato chips, 67 pieces of fried chicken, 267 live mackerel, 89 cans of Kitty Queen, 555 lbs. Of ice, 134 hours of free time and 2,109 gallons of fuel and you've got yourself a fish!

Oh yeah ... Don't forget to buy a license for the right to do this and then let that fish go when you're done, will ya?


While marlin fishing aboard NO EXCUSES on Saturday, September 14, Chris Benson gave new meaning to the term "put a bait on a fish". Chris was fishing with fellow Dana Angling Club members Bob Cravens, Rich Duncan and Steve Bledsoe about half way between the 279 spot and the 14 mile bank when they spotted a single feeding marlin close to the boat. Chris pinned a bait on a 16# outfit and made a perfect cast to the billfish on the bow. What happened next was one of Benson's all time unbelievable feats. The fish immediately charged the bait and began taking line. Before Chris' could say "I'm bit" the marlin stopped about 40 feet from the boat and began shaking his head and thrashing about at the surface of the water in plain view of the entire crew. Within a few seconds , the fish swam off without the bait, taking "I'm Bit" Benson's chance for glory with him.

Chris brokenheartedly retrieved his bait and discovered that the mackerel had a perfect hole clean through its body! The hungry marlin had actually speared the mackerel in its attempt to catch it and had to stop to shake it off of its face!

Fearing that no one would believe his wild story, Chris froze the unfortunate mackerel and delivered it to a photographer for mug shots. Most of us who know Chris Benson would believe his story without the photos because we know that things like this could and do only happen to him!

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