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To: Sent: Wednesday, April 07, 2004 9:40 AM
Subject: Thousand Pound Club!!

Hello

Team Macho Jeff, Christian,Lucho and the Macho

Team Macho Jeff, Christian,Lucho and the Macho

One thousand and seventeen pounds. Say it fast and it doesn’t sound like much but, try and battle a 1017 pound Black Marlin to remission on stand up gear and you will have your hands full as Christian Ray, and Jeff (mouth) Fortune found out last week.

The week was flowing along fairly well Gene and Jay had great luck on Big Tuna (to 259#) with Captain Bartolo. Jeff and Christian also had great luck with these giant yellowfin on the first day landing one monster and losing one at the boat. Half way threw the trip the Team Ponchera – Dan (Rooster) Leavens, J.B. (Vaquero) Klyar, Dennis (Panama Red) Hieta, Peter (Texas) Collins and myself had managed to release a 500 Black Marlin and land a 60 pound Cubera Snapper.

Amberjack at dusk!
– Amberjack at dusk!

Texas (Cubera) Collins with his 60 pound Cubera!!
– Texas (Cubera) Collins with his 60 pound Cubera!!

Blue jack on the fly!
– Blue jack on the fly!

Team Poncha reviving a 500lb Black!
– Team Poncha reviving a 500lb Black!

Jay with a Big Yellowfin
– Jay with a Big Yellowfin

Then on the fifth day with just Team Macho and the Ponchera fishing flat calm water on top of Hannibal Bank- Team Macho gets the strike.

The battle!
– The battle!

The fish went down and took lots of line so the crew thinks they are hooked into another XL Tuna, but ten minutes into the fight we get our first and only look at the monster on the surface. Macho calls over to us and yells “look at this” (I think there might have been a few colorful Spanish phrases also). To our surprise the fish is a huge Black Marlin shaking its head on the surface trying to throw the 18/0 circle hook. From our perspective on the Ponchera the Marlin looks as big as Macho’s Ocean Master. Christian was strapped into the fish on a 50 pound stand up outfit spooled with 80 pound line…..To say the least he had his hands full! Over the next 5-1/2 hours Christian and Jeff took turns battling this giant with as much as 50 pounds of drag pressure! Even in the final hour of the fight the fish was taking huge 300 yard runs pushing the gear the guys and the crew right to the max. The crew finally was able to gain line and at 5 ½ hours the fish was at leader…to exasperated to revive, the crew decided to take the Marlin.

The battle!...!
– The battle!…!

Team Macho with "the fish!" just after she was landed!
– Team Macho with “the fish!” just after she was landed!

The Fish" and Mouth at the barge
– “The Fish” and Mouth at the barge

The Thousand Pound Party Starts!
– The Thousand Pound Party Starts!

Every week I am more amazed at the diversity that the Coiba fishery has to offer, but this week will be burned into my memory for a long time. Great week – great Job guys!!!

Tight lines,

Travis

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