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Sailfish, Atlantic

Sailfish, Atlantic
Sailfish, Atlantic
Reference : 2007.08.07
Scientific name: Istiophorus albicans
Weight: 47.8kg
Diver: Eugénio Pereira (Portugal)
Location: Sal
Country: Cap Vert

On the 7th August around 07:30 a.m., I left the pear of Santa Maria do Sal on Sal Island, on board of the “Whanadoo”, which is already familiar to me from other huntings on this Island. My buddies were João Santos , João Guedes , and the captain , Paulo Santos.

It was a still cloudy and windy morning, and in 40 minutes we were on the spot chosen for the hunting , South East of the Island, 4 miles offshore, the locals call it the “canal”. . We sailed with a large waves of 1,00 / 2,00 meters. I chose to make a first dive on the northern part of the spot, in order to organize the morning with the other dives on the southern area. Around 08:30 a.m. I jumped in and my computer read 26ºC, the visibility was about 12 meters and there were many forms of plankton so closed that made it dark. As the waters were still I could dive longer without surpassing the spot zone. After an hour without even seeing a Wahoo and only some Balistes carolinensis I suddenly spotted, on my left side, 2 meters from the surface line a Sailfish coming towards me. After gaining its trust I dived in its direction swimming fast until a safe shot position; suddenly it changed course to its right coming to a good shot position. I aimed and shot onto its back and the fish snatched away rapidly, turns around and passes near me with the spear on the back. I scared with its sudden approach but I also saw that the spear was and that reassured me. The floats followed the fish and worked until it got tired. I managed to recover the fish without difficulty and gave it to the captain. The battle lasted 17 minutes. Then I jumped into the boat and decided to dive to the south. Going to the water I found it clear, with more visibility, 15 meters; the deep in this local is about 70 meters, and I was hopping to find some Wahoos for I was already satisfied with the previous capture .Thirty minutes passed by and no Wahoos and suddenly, 15,00 meters ahead 4 meters from the surface I saw a enormous form which was familiar and recent to me .It began to gain more definite forms and recognised that it was a Sailfish ; much more larger than the other. The fish continued it’s approaching until more or less 10 meters away from me , and I kept still with the gun alongside me. When I started to see more clearly the fish’s head it turned around and started swimming , then I plunged and positioned the gun pursuing the fish but trying not to show it my body. As I didn’t have the head at shot range I didn’t risk and aimed at the back , swam faster and at the distance of 8 meters from my wrist I trusted my Rob Allen 1,60 m and I shot. I saw the shaft penetrated that enormous body and stood well fixed ; the fish moved away always at surface level pushing the floats behind with a constant speed. I came to the surface to see the floats and then started to swim fast to maintain eye contact with them . But the fish was quite ahead, I kept swimming then I stopped and looked at the surface, and I saw a 90º degrees divert. It is then that , after 25 minutes of great effort, I manage to have physical contact with the floats and the trail line, I recovered the bungee leader and asked the captain to give me a Rob Allen 1,30 m with a single rubber 20mm with reel, I charged the gun, dived and the fish turns around passing near by. I aimed and shot a 2nd shot onto its back, fastened the gun to the 35 liters Rob Allen float . Suddenly it swam towards the bottom trying to liberate from the spears, stretched the bungee in a way that the 35 liters float turned to a vertical position. I took more 25 minutes to recover it and when I arrived to the leader the fish was already exhausted and I dived along the leader, approached the fish carefully, took it by the gills, immobilised it with my arms and brought it to the surface with me. When I grasped it I said to myself : oh ! Great !. I jumped into the boat and carried it with me, took the spears and looked at the fish, it was really a fine exemplar of Sailfish. Then I decided to close my hunting day with these two fine trophies, one with 24,750 kg and the other with 47,750 kg and came back to Santa Maria do Sal to proceed to weigh and photograph the fish.