Saturday, October 13, 2012

Fisherman Stabbed by Marlin - Fish Fights Back and Wins

Salvador Benitez has been a mate aboard the 31 ft Bertram "Blue Marlin" for five years. The twenty-four year old, is orginally from Ixtapa, mainland Mexico, but moved here to take advantage of the better job offers of the Cabo sportfishing industry. Last Wednesday was a day like any other, he left the dock along with Captain Luis Olascuaga and six anglers from Texas  and they headed out to the Pacific where they started fishing dorado, four miles offshore in front of Pedregal.They did well and in no time they had five dorado in the boat. They spotted a marlin tail on the surface and Salvador quickly cast a live "caballito" or green jack to the approximately 120 lb striper, hooking it up on the first cast. The rod was passed to one of the anglers and the fish dutifully headed towards the boat. It did not jump, it did not put up much of a fight and after ten minutes they had it to the leader. It was at this time, that the fish felt it was in danger; it sensed the nearby boat, looked up and saw the deckhand, who had the leader in his hand and launched itself skyward in a fury. Salvador reactly quickly and dodged the bill of the fish, at the same time thinking "it will land in the water and try to swim away" WRONG....the fish rebounded, as if it were on a pogo stick and hit him squarely in the side, about five inches below the armpit, with the bill piercing his flesh, before it dropped back into the water and released itself.  Salvador felt a sharp pain and saw a little blood, but being the young macho fisherman that he is, told the captain that he was fine and to keep on fishing. He put the lines out again, but after about ten minutes he was seeing black, felt weak and shook from the tremendous pain he told us he thought "I'm screwed" (pardon the French, just reporting it as we were told). They decided to head back and with a painkiller offered by the tourists aboard, Salvador was able to walk off the boat, where transportation was waiting to take him to the hospital. At the hospital doctors discovered that the marlin bill had entered between two ribs and pierced the pleura, a membrane covering the ribs, which is highly sensitive and appeaerd to have also made a small puncture in the lung, but as the incident took place so quickly, the lung had closed back over itself. They kept him in for observation to make sure the lung would not collapse, cleaned the wound and put in a few stitches before sending him home. We asked him what he had learned from this, to which he replied "never grab an angry marlin".
Salvador Benitez Shown Standing at Rear of Boat, Back to Work Yesterday, After His Battle with a 120 lb Striped Marlin