Julio Gonzalez, captain of the Bill Collector, at first thought the giant billfish he saw feeding in the distance might be a whale. But when he guided the yacht closer, he realized it was a blue marlin, one of the largest he'd ever seen. It was eating a 20-pound dorado and oblivious to the approaching boat.
Anglers aboard the 32-foot sportfisher, which operates from Pisces Sportfishing in Cabo San Lucas and was fishing Monday near the Golden Gate north of the resort city, still had their lures in the water as they began to circle the great fish.
That's when the marlin opened its mouth wide and consumed one of the lures in an attack seeming to occur, Gonzalez said, in slow motion. With Florida angler Martha Chisholm in the fighting chair, the angler and crew anticipated an epic struggle. But after two leaps and a deep dive, the marlin became increasingly inactive and then stopped moving altogether.
It was hoisted to the surface and wrestled on board. At the Cabo San Lucas dock scale, it weighed 865 pounds, making it one of the largest blue marlin caught off Baja California -- certainly one of the largest in years.
It's a shame, though, because the anglers aboard the Bill Collector had decided to release the fish. Gonzalez, one of the area's top captains, presumed it suffered a heart attack during the brief struggle.
So although it was a monumental catch, it was not celebrated. In fact, Gonzalez did not even alert Pisces that he was bringing the beast in.
-- Pete Thomas
Photo: Julio Gonzalez, who is 5-foot-7, stands along side a blue marlin that weighed 865 pounds on the Cabo San Lucas dock scale. Credit: Pisces Sportfishing
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