Tight Lines

I have just returned from the tropics to be brought back to earth by freezing temperatures, snow and ice, but it makes it easy for me to share my latest fishing adventure.

It started with an early morning call from a cheery Mauritian voice who invited me to wake up.

I did not really need that call as I had been on the edge of sleep all night just waiting for dawn.

A quick breakfast and Doris who was to accompany me was ready and off to the chartered minibus which was to take us the thirty or so miles to the Black River Big Game Fishing Club pier where the Maona II lay waiting for us.

She is a sleek 42 ‘footer’ and just about the most famous Big Game boat in the world, having numerous world titles in her history.

We were met by the owner who took us out to the pier to meet the crew, Captain Kenny who instantly recognised me and Christian (The Crew) with whom I had fished with four years ago.

It was an immediate departure and once at sea seven big lures were deployed and we set off to the north towards Port Louis at about five miles offshore in deep Indian Ocean water.

It was not to be as last time as no sign was found of marlin or of any other fish and after about two hours we went further out into the ocean where we encountered the frigate birds diving on small fish driven to the surface by predators.

Kenny burst into life and changed two rods on to tuna tackle and almost immediately I was into the first of four skipjack tuna or bonito as the are commonly known.

Great sport, they fought like tigers.

There was a shout and the boys pointed to the only other boat out there, a small cruiser with outboard engine who were into a blue marlin and it was flying, jumping high into the air and stripping line at a tremendous speed.

It was lost due to the tackleon the boat being lighter than you need for the greatest fighter in the ocean.

Kenny and Christian were on full alert and the excitement grew but it was not to be and despite vigorous attempts we could not contact a marlin.

We cruised for a further two hours, heading south, changing lures but to no avail and then a change back to the big lures in choppier water brought a fish to the surface and it was chasing our lures, it went for one ( I thought Christian was to jump in after it) such was the excitement and then it was gone and that was to be our day.

I still have not caught a marlin, maybe I never will, but I have tried and enjoyed trying in a place I call Paradise. If you ever get the chance go. Then do it, it’s an experience not to be missed. The island is beautiful, the people are the friendliest on earth and the sunshine is endless.

I’m not sorry I missed January in Brechin and still not catching a marlin give me the perfect excuse to go back.

Tight Lines ,

by Bill Balfour.