Jake Jordan Sailfish School Report
Sailfish School Report January 16 and 17, 2011
Greetings from the world class Casa Vieja Lodge:
I am writing this report from a hotel room at the Raleigh NC Airport, it is 3:00 am and I can't sleep, please read this whole report, it is a good one.
January 16 2011,
Anglers, Ken Haupt, and Greg Hyland, along with photographer George Coley, all from Northern California joined me at 7this morning aboard Intensity with Capt. Mike Sheeder and his mates Flaco and Waldo for their second day of their sailfish school. The seas were calm with sunny skies and 85 degree water and air temperature, fishing was slow for those of us who were fly fishing. All tree clients aboard intensity along with their instructor got to cast flies to sailfish, each angler got to hook and fight at least one of the 7 sailfish bites which we got from the 20 plus fish raised. We had some bad lick and made a few mistakes, and at the end of the day we released only one sailfish on fly from 7 bites. Some of the boats fishing bait caught as many as 20, tomorrow will be a much better day.
January 17, 2011:
Today Greg, Ken, and George all showed up ready for battle with the mighty Pacific sailfish on fly rods. After a great breakfast at Casa Vieja, we boarded Intensity with Capt.Sheeder along with mates Waldo and Flaco and left the dock at 7 AM. Just then a cell phone rang and there was a medical problem with Waldo's father so we pulled back into the slip where Waldo went to assist his ailing father and we picked up mate Christian. We steamed for 2 hours to a spot 45 miles from the marina and began to troll teasers in the calm seas with lots of sea life visible.
Soon we got our first Bite and Greg caught his first sailfish of the day, later George hooked and fought a nice sailfish only to break it off after a 5 minute battle, then by noon my buddy Ken Haupt hooked a really nice, wild pacific sailfish on a pink Cam Sigler fly. Ken fought this sailfish for 14 minutes without making any mistakes, (perfect angling) and then landed this awesome sailfish. After raising more than 20 sailfish and getting 7 bites this crew caught and released 3 sailfish for the day.
BLUE MARLIN ON FLY!
The next chapter begins here, at 3PM we were getting ready for the long two hour ride back to the dock, Ken, Greg, and George were sitting inside talking about this awesome day, I was in the cockpit with the mates when I heard Capt. Mike yell "MARLIN", "BIG MARLIN"!!I calmly picked up the TFO Bluewater HD fly rod with the Mako #9700 fly reel, rigged with a RIO Leviathan fly line , 20 pound tippet and a Cam Sigler Marlin Fly, with the drag set at one pound of pressure and got the fly ready to cast. Ken moved the sailfish rod out of the way, as I asked him if he wanted to take a shot, He said "You show us how it is done" so, when the big Blue Marlin came in hot I made the cast.
The marlin swam around trying to eat the teasers, I cast again, she swam under my fly and then chased another teaser which Flaco had cast to get her to come back in. I made the third cast and this monster fish attacked my fly within 25 foot from the boat. Within 10 seconds that marlin was 200 yards out gray hounding away and then back at the boat. Much of the next 30 minutes was a blur to me, I just did what I have been teaching anglers to do for the last 25 years of my Billfish Schools, "Relax and let the rod and reel do the work"… "don't squeeze the rod, loosen your grip, rod tip low, when the fish is going away then the angler should relax, then apply maximum pressure on the fish when she is facing you".
During the next half hour I ate some ice-cold pineapple and drank two bottles of water, took off my sun glasses, and worked through several Charlie horses in my legs, all while applying pressure on this big marlin. Capt. Mike who has caught six other Blue marlin on fly with me as his angler, maneuvered the "Intensity" perfectly. We circled that fish at least a dozen times as we tried to get an angle to bring her to the surface. At some point I was winding line in from behind the boat when she surfaced and jumped three times 100 yards in front of the boat, Mike swung the boat and I gained 250 feet of line and was on the fly line after an hour of battle.
One hour and 15 minutes into the battle I got within 20 feet of her and then she ripped off 50 yards of backing, she really looked big to me. I was thinking about "Oh lord, this fish is so big and my boat is so small" and then I was wondering just what this Marlin was thinking? With cheering from Ken, Greg, and George, I began to feel that marlin begin to tire, I had been resting and felt strong. I was on the fly line 25 foot from the leader and a release of another Blue Marlin on fly, the drag on my Mako reel was now set at 6 pounds of drag and she was coming up slowly. At 4:23PM I got the leader through the rod tip and secured the technical release, she surged and I let her have back 15 foot before stopping her and lifting her close to the surface, and then at 4:27 Mike slipped Intensity into reverse one more time and I wound the fly rod tip all the way down to the class tippet, confirming that this was a really big female Blue Marlin. She was really thick and deep, and was longer than the transom of the Intensity is wide, About 11 foot I think. I said that she was the largest fish that I had ever caught or even seen caught on fly, Mike said well over 400 pounds, the crew agreed. We got in after dark.
My 400 pound Blue Marlin, caught on 20 pound IGFA Class tippet, aboard "Intensity" with Capt. Mike Sheeder out of Casa Vieja Lodge , just a few days after my Sailfish tournament set all kinds of numbers records for fly fishing for Billfish events, made January 17, 2011 by far the best fish and the best day in my life.
Thank you all for allowing me to share my passion with you, I do really love my job.