The Little Boat that Could…Pisces’ Tracy Ann!
The Pisces Group Cabo is reporting that a 746-pound pound Blue Marlin was caught this morning at 10AM, October 18th, 2011 about 1.5 miles offshore on the Pacific side. The Tracy Ann is a 31-foot, popular and affordable standard boat within the Pisces Fleet and boasts Twin Catepillar 3208 engines providing more maneuverability. A local fishing icon captains the Tracy Ann by the name of Sr. Julio Castro. He is a long-time favorite captain of the angler friends Patrick Neville, his wife Jean, Thomas Heinz and his wife Penny all out of Florida, USA.
Coincidentally, the 746 pound, monster Blue Marlin catch has happened on same day that check-in and registration begins for the World’s biggest Black & Blue Marlin Tournament, “Bisbee’s.” Patrick Neville and his wife Jean are repeat clients with Pisces Sportfishing for nearly one decade fishing with Captain Julio Castro and on the Tracy Ann each year, three times per year. Their friends Thomas Heinz and Penny Heinz met the Nevilles 7 years ago in Florida, as both couples are avid boaters and fisherman and woman.
Patrick Neville added, “This morning, Captain Julio asked us if we would like to fish for Marlin because he felt today may be a good day so we looked at each other and said, ‘sure, sounds great!’ We never had any intention of catching a massive fish but that is all part of the adventure when fishing in Cabo San Lucas during this time of year!”
This catch was unique is that it happened quickly but like a high-speed car chase. At 8:30AM, lines were dropped in the water. 10 minutes later, the Blue Marlin hit the line and the chase was on. In fact, Captain Julio immediately shouted to the group of angler friends below, “Big Blue!” as they saw the fish jump 45 feet behind the boat.
The Blue Marlin literally ran out the line to the very end with just the knot remaining on three different occasions over a 15 to 20 minute timeframe, forcing the boat to race to recover line. The anglers were using 80-pound test with a medium size yellow-orange lure so there were quite concerned that the line wouldn’t hold with a fish of this strength.
After a quick bit of a tug-of-war and around 9:00AM, the monster Blue Marlin tired, sounded and died. Then the hard work began, with three people on the rod, one in the chair, two helping lift the rod, plus the captain and deckhand hand lining it up, for one hour and forty five minutes of pure physical exertion – leaving them with blisters, to bring the 746-Pound Blue Marlin to the boat . The other odd thing about this Blue Marlin was the fact that it did not have a bill, apparently lost probably to a predator at a young age because the tip was completely healed over.
Patrick Neville trusts the boat and captain saying, “Why change a good thing, it works for us and we are a great team together. Over my 10 years in coming to Cabo for sportfishing at Pisces, we have caught over 40 Striped Marlin, we love the destination, we love the people and when we first met Julio, we were ‘hooked.’ This is our third time fishing with our friends Thomas and Penny and it looks like, the third time was the charm!”
Captain Julio Castro added, “This is the 2nd biggest Blue Marlin catch in my life, the other being 758 pounds but the experience this time is second-to-none. We were blessed with a bit of luck today.”
A buzz was in the air all day as news of a giant Blue Marlin catch circulated around Cabo San Lucas quickly amongst the locals, tourists and heavy-hitting anglers readying and registering for the Bisbee’s - World’s Biggest Black & Blue Marlin Tournament. As the boat drew near to the weigh station at center stage right in front of the Puerto Paraiso Mall, a big crowd of anglers and media outlets had gathered in anticipation.
Another twist in the story was the size of the boat itself. A modest-sized boat at only 31-feet drew attention itself when the fish was being pulled up to be weighed. Onlookers and anglers were asking around, “is that the boat that pulled in the huge Marlin?” Jean Neville and Penny Heinz said to a few people that, “If we hadn’t had the Tracy Ann, we might have lost the fish because of the ease in maneuvering with the Blue Marlin. Literally, we had to keep up with the marlin and angle the boat on a dime throughout the catch.”
Quoted by Mrs. Tracy Ehrenberg, General Manager of Pisces Sportfishing and Yacht Charters in Los Cabos for more than 30 years, “You don’t need to have a big boat to catch a big fish. The Tracy Ann is only a 31-foot boat. It really is about being in the right place at the right time. Most often, a great captain who knows the local waters will be able to guide anglers to excellent fishing areas, which will change, on a daily basis. A combination of having a great captain, maybe even the right bait or lure and then as with any sport, you need a little bit of luck for the best opportunities sportfishing in Cabo has to offer.”
Mario Bañaga, photographer, videographer and Dock Master for Pisces Sportfishing also noticed a peculiar thing on the Blue Marlin…an old wound on the right side of this female fish. “Most likely, a good-sized squid may have attacked the Blue Marlin years ago because when you look at the coloration and damage that was caused, it is like an old mark in the skin.” Mario added, “It brings me great joy to see friendly repeat clients like the ones who caught the 746-Pound Marlin enjoying themselves. They never expected to catch a huge fish but were here for the adventure. It just so happens that they achieved greatness today.”
Captain Julio Castro has been awarded the Billfish Foundation award in 2005, 06, 09 and 2010 for most striped marlin released worldwide. Patrick Neville, Jean Neville, Thomas Heinz and his wife Penny Heinz will all be back fishing this Thursday on October 20th again on the same boat, with the same captain and looking for another huge marlin catch.
We asked what the friends were going to do with the 746-Pound Blue Marlin and they said, “Give it to the best captain in Los Cabos and go have a party. And…get some rest and be ready for our next fishing days on the Tracy Ann this Thursday and Friday of this week!”
by Seth Romans