Insects and other foods the trout
should be eating:
1. BWOs (Little BWOs)
3. Little Winter Stonefliesl
Most available/ Other types of food:
4. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
Fish Tales - The Five Minute Marlin
About the second year of my new syndicated saltwater TV series, around the summer of 1981, I produced a
show I called "the Five Minute Marlin". The pictures shown were taken from digitizing old 3/4 inch video tape.
That was the top of the line broadcast quality video back in those days. The fishing was shot by my
cameraman at the time,Tommy Powers, of Mobile, Alabama, aboard the new million plus dollar 55 foot Ocean
Yacht, the Adios.
The boat was owned and the fish was caught by Mr. Bill Broadnox, shown above (name probably spelled
wrong) of LaFayette, Louisiana. The marlin weighted 391 pounds and was actually caught in less than 5
minutes. Fish of this size are caught in terms of hours, not minutes. On 80# test tackle, thirty minutes would
be a short time to land a fish of this size. Some may even take up to two or three hours or more.
That's Bill and I in the above image of the boat backing down on the "stunned" blue marlin. There is a story
behind the gloves. When the fish hit the lure, I grabbed the first pair of gloves I could find, which happened to
be a new pair the captain had purchased for just such an event. The crew always kidded me about getting
the only new pair of gloves on the boat so I was dressed top notch for the TV show.
This is a freeze frame of video of when we first saw the fish come out of the water. As a matter of fact, this
happened right in front of our faces. That's Capt. Jimmy in the center of the image on the right, Tommy,
another captain (forgot his last name) behind Jimmy, and I'm on the right wearing the Bluewater Fishing
Team shirt. We now have two gaffs in the fish. Tommy will be billing the fish and Jimmy and I will pull the fish
in. But, at that instant, all "hell" broke loose. The marlin came alive. It put itself in the boat. We were just
hanging on. The fish lit up an incredible iridescent aqua, or turquoise color and began to jump off the deck,
sometimes over head high. It scared the cameraman, who was on the bridge, so bad he missed getting video
of that incredible few minutes. The fish tore the teak steps into the cabin completely off the deck.
Notice the difference in the normal color of the marlin on your left and the color of it on your right. That's
what's called a "lit up" blue marlin. The skin actually changes colors. To some extent, they also change colors
when they are attacking their prey, such as small dolphin. Most all fish change colors when frightened. The
pictures don't do the real-life view of this any justice at all. It is really an unbelievable sight to behold.
We all speculated as to why we were able to land such a fish in that short of time. Speculation ranged from
the lure temporarily knocking the fish out, to the fish not realizing what was happening to it until it was too
late. All we know for certain is that after we pulled ( it actually jumped in) the big marlin through the transom
door, it went crazy, jumping over head high on the deck. We all had to clear the deck to keep from getting
killed by the jumping fish for a short time.
In spite of there being a few hundred thousand dollars at stake on this catch. It makes me sick to my stomach
that such a waste of a beautiful creature was, and to some extent, still is done for fame and cash. I don't
remember the numbers, but I believe Bill won around $50,000.00 for second place in the Calcutta. The boat
in the picture below won first place money of far more than that.
Not only was the highly valued prize of the Mobile Big Game Tournament riding on the fish, there were
Calcutta winnings of a few hundred grand at stake.
This was the second ever TV show aired showing a blue marlin being caught. I produced and aired the very
first one of a marlin being caught a year before this happened but that's another story. I will assure you
that as of this day, it is the only TV show ever aired showing a blue marlin of this size taken that
quickly and my guess is, it is the only one that has ever been taken from hookup to the boat in
that short of time.
The only other TV shows on saltwater fishing that had been aired at the time were a few done by Curt Gowdy
on ABC's Wide World of Sports and those were a couple of tarpon fishing programs. This show was very
popular and gave most big game anglers their first ever opportunity to see a blue marlin being caught.
The fish lead the tournament after the first day's weight-in. You would think Bill would continue to fish and
hang around to collect the big prize but he didn't. He boarded a helicopter and flew back to Louisiana to
witness the opening of another one of his oil wells. I was the angler for the second day of fishing. I have no
idea what my head weighted that next day. It had to have been big. My status changed from TV host to an
angler worrying about the huge amount of cash at stake.
I did catch my first ever sailfish the following day but only blue marlin counted. When I find the pictures
of the sailfish, which are around here among a few thousand others, I will probably write another fish story
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
New Schedule of Daily Articles
Mondays: Weather and Stream Conditions
Forecast - Coming Week
Tuesdays: Fly Fishing Strategies - Which
Flies To Use - Coming Week
Wednesday: Fish Tales
Thursday: Smoky Mountains Fishing Report
Friday: Getting Started
Saturday: Fly Fishing School
Sunday: This Week's Featured Trout Food
I will always be thankful to Bill for
allowing me the opportunity to use
his boat, captain and crew several
times to make new TV shows. Most
of the time he was not around to
enjoy the trips.