Kayak Fishing Theodore AL
Spanish Fort, AL
Marlin Fishing by Kayak
Marlin Fishing by Kayak
"It ate my live bait, and took me on a 2-1/2 hour ride eight miles out to sea," Jim Sammons, kayak angler.PL: So how many beers deep were you when you decided it was time to go fishing for an animal that weighs more than the fisherman and is longer than the kayak?
Jim Sammons: I don't drink yeah right.
The first Marlin I caught from a kayak in 1998, was the first Marlin ever caught from a kayak and is still the only one caught in California's waters. That fish picked me to catch it that day, I didn't pick it as a prey. I was fishing for yellowtail in La Jolla during a El Nino year and the big fish came in close to shore, which is very unusual around here. It ate my live bait, and took me on a 2 1/2 hour ride eight miles out to sea. After that first one, I became obsessed with doing it again but didn't get that chance for six more years. Since then, I have been involved in the catching of eighteen Billfish, Marlin and Sailfish. There is no other fish like them for their beauty, speed, power and jumping ability, catching them truly is an addiction for me.
PL: I'm picturing a scene out of Jaws here, but Marlin can swim as fast as 50-miles per hour so when it decides to run directly away from the kayak, how fast are you going?
Jim Sammons :When you get moving, sometimes you're going faster than a kayaker can paddle. We call it the Baja sleigh ride. The speed is pretty amazing, but what is more impressive is the power. We once had a Marlin pulling four kayakers plus a in-the-water camera man and it was like we weren't even there. On our last trip we had a Blue Marlin pull the kayaks over 15 miles for 5 1/2 hours and even at the end it never slowed down or lost strength. Eventually, it broke the line. Now that is power
PL: What are the dangers out there and what do you do to mitigate them?
Jim Sammons : The biggest danger is getting hit by the bill of the fish while it is jumping or thrashing next to the kayak. Honestly, there is not a lot you can do about that other than do your best to fight the fish away from the kayak. You never want to bring a hot fish in close until it is worn down enough to safely handle, but sometimes that is easier said then done. Of course your basic safety equipment is a must, a PFD, and cut away tools. If you're fishing without support, be ready for a long fight, have plenty of water and a way to contact someone for help such as a VHF radio, a cell phone and signal flares. The most important thing is to have someone with you that has experience handling these big fish.
PL: Tell me about the kayaks. Are they stable? Is it just a modified sea kayak?
Jim Sammons : We use the Ocean Kayak brand of sit on top kayaks, I use the new Trident 15. It i...