A Jupiter, Florida, fisherman had the fish of a lifetime on the business end of his fishing rod May 23.
In the interest of full disclosure, the fish, a 600-pound black marlin, had Scott Mulcher after it snacked on a live bonito in bluewater off Azuero Peninsula in Cambutal, Panama. That Mulcher was fishing from a kayak much smaller and, of course, much, much lighter than the gigantic billfish added to the drama on the high seas.
The Pacific Ocean monster of the deep towed Mulcher and his kayak one mile during the epic struggle between man and finfish. The 45-minute fight was recorded on video by Los Buzos Fishing Resort guide and manager of operations Adam Fisk, who released the much-anticipated footage on his YouTube channel May 30. (That video can be seen at www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cDNoWvFDjk&t=595s.)
Extreme fishing? You bet. Mulcher’s dream was to be seated in a kayak attached by fishing line to a black marlin ever since he witnessed Fisk catch and release a 450- to 500-pound black marlin from a kayak in 2018.
Once Mulcher and the fish hooked up, whoopin’ and hollerin’ was the order of the day inside the “mother ship” that ferries kayakers and their crafts to the fertile fishing grounds. The video does it justice, capturing the wild scene start to finish.
“All right, Scott’s going on a sleigh ride,” someone in the long skiff with three people aboard hollered.
“What a beast, Scott. Oh my God,” yelled another man in the big boat after the black marlin’s first few jumps.
Those men had an up close and personal view of the proceedings, which featured several close-range, acrobatic jumps, as the big fish towed Mulcher this way and that. There was running commentary (but only one expletive) throughout the event.
About his mile-long sleigh ride, Mulcher said in a story posted May 31 by USA Today’s Pete Thomas: “Once I was hooked it was nothing like I ever could have dreamed about. I was in for the fight of my life.”
It was his seventh time visiting the resort to fish. Los Buzos, located in the coastal town of Cambutal in the Los Santos province of Panama, offers fishing packages designed specifically for kayak anglers, who target a variety of inshore and offshore species.
But Mulcher was far from finished with personal highlights after he “leadered” the black marlin in less than 45 minutes. He had another incredible catch later in the week in a kayak when he hooked and boated a cubera snapper reportedly beating the world record by 4 inches.
Fisk, still incredulous over the length of time it took Mulcher to “leader” the black marlin, wrote in the video’s caption: “We were all shocked at the short amount of time that it took for him to bring the fish to the kayak. My marlin fight … took me five hours as the fish towed me 12 miles... this fish was at the boat in 45 minutes! Unbelievable catch ...”
The fish was considered caught when the front end of the leader touched the tip of the fishing rod. After that, Fisk decided to get Mulcher and his kayak aboard the skiff.
He had the angler pass the rod to one of the men before climbing into the bigger boat. Then the kayak was hauled aboard.
The plan was to bring the powerful fish to the boat, remove the hook and release it. The black marlin fought a few more minutes and after one spectacular jump broke the line to swim away and perhaps fight another day.
Maybe another kayaker will hook up with it.
DON SHOOPMAN is outdoors editor of The Daily Iberian.