Fishing, an extreme sport?
What is an extreme sport?
If asked to name some extreme sports many people would say outdoor sports, adventure sports or dangerous sports, such as skiing, snowboarding, BMX biking, motocross, power kite flying, surfing or some other similar sport. I doubt very few people, if any, would say that fishing is one of the extreme sports.
“Fishing an extreme sport?” I hear you cry. The truth is, fishing is one of the extreme sports and possibly one of the most dangerous sports as well. Sitting on a river bank waiting for a bobber to be dragged under the water is not an extreme sport, neither is lure fishing for bass but there is one type of fishing that most definitely is an extreme sport, and this type of fishing is game fishing, and big game fishing in particular.
Game fishing is essentially tuna fishing, blue marlin fishing, wahoo fishing, tarpon fishing and all the other types of big game fishing rolled in to one. When anglers go big game fishing most of them will have a species in mind that they want to catch, but at the end of the day as long as an angler is catching big game fish that is all that matters. Getting a bend in the rod and caching a game fish is great but all anglers dream of catching a blue marlin.
The blue marlin
The blue marlin is one of the largest fish in the world and is one that many anglers target on a big game fishing expedition. The blue marlin is easily recognisable and it is impossible to confuse the marlin with any other fish. The blue marlin is cobalt-blue on top with silvery white flanks. There is a pronounced dorsal fin and a long spear like upper jaw, which can cause some serious damage if it is not handled correctly.
The blue marlin females are larger than the males and can grow up to 4.3m in length and weigh in excess of 900 kilograms, although the average sized marlin tends to be around 3.5m and weigh around 100 to 180 kilograms. When you consider the sizes of the this fish it is easy to see that even an average sized marlin is going to put up a great fight on rod and line.
The blue marlin is native to the temperate waters of the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean. The marlin is a blue-water fish, which means it spends most of its life far out at sea. The marlin is a migratory fish that will follow warm ocean currents for thousands of miles. Unfortunately, the marlin does not come as far as the English Channel or the North Sea, therefore the only opportunities I ever get to try and catch a blue marlin is when I am on vacation, which is nowhere near often enough.
The blue marlin prefers warmer waters and will tend to stay nearer the surface of the water, where it will feed on tuna, mackerel and whatever else it can find. The marlin feeds by using its beak to slash its way through dense shoals of fish where it will return to devour its stunned and wounded prey. The marlin is one of the fastest fish in the ocean and is a formidable predator.
So, why is marlin fishing considered an extreme sport?
Extreme sports are considered to be dangerous and big game fishing for blue marlin can be very dangerous. Firstly, you have to go far out to sea in order to catch the blue marlin. The ocean is an unknown force that can be calm one moment and rough and stormy the next. The speed at which the ocean can turn from a mill pool to a raging torrent makes it very unpredictable and can catch you out if you are not careful. Big game fishing for blue marlin in rough and stormy seas can be very dangerous.
Extreme sports are exhilarating, exciting and gives an adrenaline rush, and fishing for blue marlin ticks all of these boxes. When fishing for blue marlin you troll a big lure behind the boat. These lures are trolled on the surface of the ocean and if you carefully watch the lure you can see the blue marlin strike and attack the lure. Watching a blue marlin deciding whether to take the lure or not is a heart in the mouth moment. You watch and wait, full of hope and anticipation the blue marlin is going to take the lure and then, bang! The blue marlin takes the lure and swims off at a rate of knots whilst the reel spins giving the fish line.
Once you have let the blue marlin make the initial run, it is then time to take the rod and hold on for dear life as the fun and exhilaration starts here. The Blue marlin is a powerful fish and will fight exceptionally hard when hooked. The blue marlin will dive down to the depths of the ocean before rocketing up towards the surface where it will jump clean out of the ocean. Watching a blue marlin in flight is poetry in motion and really gets the adrenaline pumping. Fighting a blue marlin can take many hours, which is physically and mentally draining, however it is an adrenaline rush from start to finish.
Once you get the blue marlin to the boat the danger doesn’t stop there as the fish will fight to the bitter end. The only way to get a blue marlin aboard is to grab it by its beak and pull it aboard, which is easier said than done. The beak is very sharp and the marlin will use it for defence and stab anyone who gets in its way. Many big game anglers are seriously injured by blue marlin every year while trying to get the fish on the boat.
Everything about blue marlin fishing is extreme. From locating the blue marlin to watching the fish attack the lure to getting the fish to the boat and then getting the fish on the boat, everything about catching blue marlin makes it an extreme sport.
Catching a large blue marlin is dangerous, exciting, exhilarating and provides a huge adrenaline rush that is very difficult to beat, making blue marlin fishing one of the most extreme sports out there.