Cyclon-Grander at Rodriguez

The pictures of the wondrous events on 30. January 2007 run off again and again in my internal eye. Now, the letters must help. I hope, I can give you the chance with this letter to share my nearly unbelievable experience of this magic day. After an optimal planning and a short impact prayer to the God of the hoist and the sea we went on January 26 from Frankfurt over Mauritius to Rodrigues.

After an optimal planning and a short impact prayer to the God of the hoist and the sea we went on January 26 from Frankfurt over Mauritius to Rodrigues.

On Rodrigues we will joyfully receive from Skipper Yann Colas; during the travel to the hotel however, we notice a somewhat pessimistic undertone in the voices of Yann. “A tropical storm in northeast … however still far away …the sea is … however it will already become also a little bit rough. You don´t have any problems with seasickness, so there is also no problem …?!” In the evening during our fishing with the popper from the small boat, we could understand what Yann meant – here do best conditions prevail for wave riding, but to the Fishing? Nevertheless it runs quite properly.

First gateway with the BLACK MARLIN

Our first target area lies in the northeast from Port Mathurin, thus toward “tropical storm” – but, no matter, there is the main catch area. Well, wind with the strength of 5 and waves to maximally 3 meters – the BLACK MARLIN with its 500 HP and 50 foot length fights well and the lures runs also still properly. Our daily catch: 1 Blue Marlin approx. 120 LB. (C+R), 1 reef shark approx. 250 LB. (C+R) – by the way, he attacked a Lure and fought properly, 2 Cubera Snapper, a beautiful Rainbowrunner, in addition several Wahoos and Dorados – however more of it in a subsequent report.

In the evening, Yann visits us again in our hotel and shows us the current satellite photos: The tropical storm is called “cyclone Dora”, strengths themselves on the offshore sea more up and comes slowly, but constantly toward Rodrigues. For tomorrow, we already have warning stage 1, wind with the strength of 6 is announced and waves up to maximally 4 meters. We must remind Yann with something reproduction of the fact that we are only this week there and a little bit “wobbling” is ok for us. “Thus well, then until tomorrow early”, Yann said.

Second gateway, 30 January 2007:

After the our port exit, on our trip to south-east we have a very rough sea, so our journey is very bumpy. Our light lures do not really run well, so we change them to the heavy and larger onies and troll only with four rods. After two hours we arrive in the lee of the island, boat and lures run more calmly. Against 10:30 the radio sends the message: “cyclone warning stage 2… all boats immediately back!”

Who experienced already once a cyclone, will never forget its sign: The air pressure falls extremely fast; the wind becomes stifling to hot and the weather front seems grey-blue over yellow to green. A threatening and unreal tendency spreads – more sensitive nature smell and feel the mortal danger!

At 11:00 o’clock without sign a violent strike on one our Softheads – It´s Roberto´s turn: After 20 minutes a Black Marlin with 300lb. We thank to god. Over mobile phone, we rebook our tickets – away with the next/last plane!

Around 12:30 again a Strike, again without signs, now on my 80lb standup rod. After short escape the fish stands still some seconds – now it runs off however like a rocket; the line shoots from the role. The sea on the horizon seems to cook. The powerful Marlin jumps wildly from right to the left and whips the water. Yann tries to drive backwards, in this swell a laborious venture.

Therefore he turns  the boat; I place myself laterally under the outrigger and in an pointed angle we drive slowly to the fish, afterwards. Now we are only approx. 200 meters from the fish, but… again full power of the fish and wildly jumps several minutes. Now, my break adjustment on the reel is approx. 25 kg raised – full risk!

With the help of the waves I try to get the fish meter for meters to the boat – it seems to work. Hopefully it nevertheless still dips into the depth and dies. All around I don´t notice. Not the giant waves, and/or the dangers – everything fits nevertheless. My consciousness only notices and controls: Not falling down, rod curved and crank and holding the distance to the railing.

Now, I see the knot of the double-line – the fish now is behind the tail; I hear calls: “gigantic… it is a monster…”. The fish swims now several times fast from baking after to starboard – an extremely critical moment. Now it tries to flee again into the depth – the brake stands still on “Full”; additionally I brake with both hands too.

The fish comes slowly to the surface; he jumped too often and because auf his tiredness he can´t run into the depth. Again it swims from baking after to starboard. Now it puts on the side; the crew sets a flying gaff and secures the fish with a rope – it is past! Short silence – now the estimations rise of 600+ to 800+ . But nobody dares to speak the word “G….”.

After some minutes the situation is controlled: The fish is too big for the tail-door and we don´t have a pulley-block. We secure the fish with a rope around the sword and try to pull it by the gills. Five man try to pull the Marlin on the tail platform – after one quarter of an hour we are exhausted on deck. What now, the Marlin bleeds strongly – now a shark attack…? After nearly an hour we see large waves rolling on the tail – again we pull all together: Finally, the marlin lies with the sword and head in the door and on the platform – so it can work.

Slowly we drive with an enormous fish home. Over radio Yann organize everything which still belongs to a worthy Marlin presentation. Colas senior selected and prepared the best place; a large crowd and the press already waits for us.

Now the things runs very fast; a large fork-lift truck lifts the fish up; very anxious we look on the digital display of the balance; the fork-lift truck raises slowly: 100 – 200 – 300 – 400 – 500, applause from the crowd..; the balance stops with 561,5 kg (converted 1238 lbs, potential world record)!!

Stephan Kreupl, February 2007