Taking The Fish
For reasons that should be obvious to anyone
who has spent time at this site, I am not a good source of
information about how to subdue and kill a marlin. Hopefully,
you've learned enough to understand that the only time you
should even be considering taking a marlin is when the fish
clearly cannot survive. For those rare instances, I'll share
what I know.
I spoke with several people with more experience
than I in taking striped marlin. They all agreed that, unlike
the larger black and blue marlin, striped marlin are relatively
easy to subdue. The key, they felt, was to be prepared and
be decisive. Once the decision has been made to take the fish,
make sure everyone is ready for their job and has the required
equipment unshipped and ready to go.
As for the actual kill, the consensus is
that no more than two gaffs are required, and a flying gaff,
while useful, isn't really necessary. A single gaff over the
fish (ie - from above, rather than below) near the pectoral
fins is usually enough to control the fish, while a second
gaff can be used to lift the tail out of the water for the
attachment of a tail rope (which you should take the time
to tie off to a cleat before the fish was gaffed).
After that, it's a matter of securing the
fish to the swimstep, if you have one. If you are forced to
bring the fish into the cockpit of the boat, be very careful
of the bill. In any case, getting the fish out of the water
as soon as possible will help avoid problems with sharks.
you are forced to kill a marlin, you'll suddenly find
yourself the owner of over 100 pounds of fish. When
you run out of friends to give fish to, consider contacting
local charity groups. Groups that run soup kitchens
or homeless shelters are often thrilled to receive a
batch of high-protein food.
Let me reiterate that you should only think
of taking a marlin as a last resort. Hopefully, by now you
understand that a trophy or prize just isn't enough of a reason
to kill one of these special creatures.