Video: Kayak Angler fights Black Marlin in Panama

Scott Mutchler made the trip of a lifetime after tying in a 600 600 black marlin while kayaking off the coast of Panama in May. He wrestled with the big fish for about 45 minutes and saw it tear the surface several times inside the legs of his 13-foot boat.

An experienced fisherman living in Jupiter, Florida, Mutchler travels twice a year to Los Buzos, a remote kayak lodge on the Pacific coast of Panama. Fishermen there usually look for giant cubs, snappers and roosters, but occasionally have a chance to be confused with a striped marlin, black or blue.

On May 23, Mutchler was fishing in a place called Boya, about two miles offshore, where fishermen typically move in water 140 to 170 feet deep. But the bite was slow and there was only one bait school in the fish finder. After grabbing a bonita, Mutchler decided to try something different.

“I put that 6-kilogram bonnet on a 12/0 circle hook. “Then I put a 4-ounce sink, which I painted black, on a black belt at the steering knot,” he told Field & Stream. swam down with his friends and seemed like an easy meal for a bigger fish. ”

Just then, he heard a shout from a nearby Panga boat, a 30-foot boat that supports kayak fishermen. “I have a marlin,” someone shouted. The fish threw the hook when it fell, but Mutchler and the other fishermen were excited when they knew there was marlin around. The noise intensified a few minutes later when Mutchler’s line slid sideways about 25 feet. “At first I thought he was caught at the wheel of a nearby kayaker,” he recalled. “But when he shot 25 meters in the opposite direction, it was clear that it was something big.”

The Battle of a Life follows

The black marlin jumps right in front of the kayak fisherman
Marlin was thrown at least seven times during the brawl. Scott Mutchler

Seconds later a massive black marlin exploded on the surface. “I shouted ‘Marlin!’ And the other kayakers split up like the Red Sea to make room,” he says. of Los Buzos Adam Fisk.

“My first thought when he penetrated was just the large size of the fish,” Mutchler says. “And the other thought was how beautiful and magnificent they are. They are gold, blue, black and silver and they have these giant eyes and a really big bill. “I saw you up close and personally it was surprising.”

Marlin jumps and shakes his head in front of the kayak fisherman
Mutchler says the closest thing he could compare the battle to is bullfighting.

“And then, of course, the other thing is that you’re in a 13 foot plastic boat and this animal can really do whatever it wants with you,” adds Mutchler. “There is definitely a sense of respect and reverence, because you know that at any moment he can turn the script around and just take full control.”

Playing a powerful 600 pound fish in an Outback Hobie is hard. Mutchler held the kayak toward the fish to avoid turning. He remembered not to hold the rod too high so that it would not break. And he made sure to release enough of his crawl so that his line would not be broken, or worse, not dragged into the water. Mutchler says several kayak fishermen in Los Buzos have caught marlin in the past, but only one, guide Adam Fisk, was able to spin it close enough to reach the main material – so far.

Typically, we are not trying to raise the fish near the kayak, because to do so, you are talking about a 5 to 10 hour process, and you will probably end up killing the fish half the time. Explains Mutchler, who fishes with Fisk when he is in Los Buzos. “It’s considered a ‘catch’ if you turn the leader up to your first rod guide.” Mutchler says he rotated his 12-foot leader within one or two feet from the top of the rod several times before eventually passing it through the guide. He then handed the rod to someone in one of the panga boats.

“At that point, what they’re trying to do is bring the marlin close enough to tear it apart,” he says. “If they can not do that, they tighten the crawl and untie it as soon as possible. This is what ended up happening. After I handed the rod to the chase boat and let it try to get it on the boat, he got angry and set off on a 200-yard run. “There was no way they could get him back on the boat after that.”

Read more: How to kayak for halibut in California

Mutchler jokes that he has seen the battle video “about 700 times, as my wife can tell you… It was almost like an out-of-body experience as if someone else had caught it because I was too focused to do not be disappointed at times. But looking at the video again, I have to say that it was one of the most intense experiences of my life. ”

“I would like to describe it better, but it is difficult to find something to compare it to,” he adds. “Maybe bullfighting.”

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