From Two Pound Bass to 200 Pound Blue Marlin. Today on Fire Hatt, Daniel Perez broke his personal all time record for the largest fish he has ever caught, (a two pound Bass). This estimated 200 pound Pacific Blue Marlin will give him bragging rights for a very long time. Daniel brought the beauty to the boat in just under 20 minutes. The Marlin was tagged and released, tired but unharmed by Captain Joe Shumaker. Nice! Daniel is from the Bay Area of Northern California. Fire Hatt was in about 1200 fathoms just outside the Honokohau Harbor Marina when the fish exploded on the short bait. Captain Joe Shumaker likes to run the well known “Smash Bait” in tight close to the boat…for this reason! The Big Blue jumped at least fifty times and tired itself out giving Daniel the upper hand.
Tagging and Releasing of Pacific Blue Marlin
Scientific name: Makaira nigricans. The blue marlin is the largest of the marlins, common to 11 feet, and known to exceed 2,000 pounds. It is cobalt blue on top shading to silvery white on bottom, although colors can vary by region. In common with striped marlin, they are rarely encountered in shallow nearshore waters, preferring blue, oceanic waters.
Tag and recapture data show that blue marlin travel long distances and routinely make trans-Pacific or trans-Atlantic crossings. One recent tag return indicates the first inter-ocean for a blue marlin that earlier data on genetics suggested occurred). In the Pacific, blue marlin tagged in Kona, Hawaii have been recaptured in the South China Sea, in the Marquesas, and off the western coast of South America Some of these movements have occurred in relatively short time scales.
In August of 1997 a pilot project was undertaken on blue marlin in Pacific waters off the coast of Kona, Hawaii. In this project the first generation pop-up satellite tags were set for durations of 60-90 days and fish ranged in body size between 130 and 300 lbs. Three of the tags successfully surfaced and transmitted data, and one fish was caught within a week after release within a mile of the initial tag and release event. Remarkably, one blue marlin traveled from Hawaii to an area west of the Galapagos (a distance of approximately 3000 nm) in 90 days. At the time people doubted a marlin from Hawaii could travel this far. The remaining five tagged blue marlin did not report back for unknown reasons, possibly tag failure due to antenna interaction with the fish or mortality. The tagging data provided a short term view that was consistent with the acoustic tagging data- marlin were primarily fish of the surface 50m but occasionally dove to deeper depths.