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THE BIG FISH AND THE MAIDEN VOYAGE CONT. FROM PAGE 40

Around 1:00 pm, a huge dark shadow showed up behind one of the big baits they were now trolling. It was their goal to seek something bigger than the blackfin tuna that now filled the fishbox and they weren’t going to be disappointed. The shadow soon cleared the surface and showed itself to be a huge blue marlin. The hungry fish inhaled the bait and the fight was on.

Sam Stokes has always been one of the fleet’s best marlin skippers and he knew that his crew had their work cut out for them. The fish was one of his biggest ever and from the looks of things it was also going to be a tough one. His mate, Craig Brothers, along with the angler, and for that matter everyone else, played a role in the battle. Marlin fishing is definitely a team sport and thanks to the efforts of all on board the fish was brought boatside after a two hour long fight. They tied him to the cleats with the flying gaff ropes and took a moment to rest, which was a good idea, since unfortunately the work was just beginning.

In the rush to get the new boat finished, Sam had opted to skip putting a tuna door in the stern of the vessel. It was one of those things that he could get to later. A tuna door or transom door is a two foot by three foot swinging door cut into the stern to allow a big fish to be drug aboard at water level.

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