Catching Marlin off a jetski

After what seemed like an eternity of trawling without luck one of the reels screamed off in the characteristic cuta “zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz”.

They say “lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice” but this is definitely not the case for Marlin strikes if you are Kevin “Slayer” Tait. Fishing off his Racetech Yamaha Wave Runner he has been fortunate enough to land once in a lifetime Marlin catches not once, not twice, not even three times but Five times in a space of 6 weeks. This is almost unheard of on a boat along the Dolphin Coast let alone on a Jetski.

With weather conditions being ideal for Cuta, live bait has been the order of the day. Generally, when a lot of game fish are around the bait becomes very scarce and hours are spent to catch a handful of Mackerel, Bonnies or Maasbanker.

On the days in question the guys headed out to the cuta marks after battling to catch bait. The preferred method for cuta in KZN is down rigging with a sinker between 4 and 8 oz attached to the leader with an elastic band which can be easily removed during the fight. The trace of choice is the Sportex Premium Cuta traces rigged with BKK Haku live bait hooks with BKK Raptor Z treble hooks.

On arriving at the spot the live baits were rigged and lowered to the correct depths and a slow trawl commenced along the outskirts of the reef. After what seemed like an eternity of trawling without luck one of the reels screamed off in the characteristic cuta “zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz”. A mad scramble ensued to clear the gear and then organise the deck ready for fighting the fish. On this occasion it was thought that this was the elusive 30KG plus Cuta which is the holy grail for offshore anglers. After a lengthy battle with much cursing it was assumed that the cuta had been taxed and converted into the “man with the grey suit”. After contemplating breaking it off the water erupted next to the ski and the cries of “MARLIN!!!!” could be heard from nearby vessels. The fight continued with trembling hands but luckily the juvenile Marlin was subdued quite quickly. After a quick photo the fish was revived and released to swim another day.

The other four outings were very similar with bait being caught and down rigged on a slow trawl. The last of these trips is definitely one for the history books. On the day in question the baits were set out for cuta and after trawling for a short time one of the reels screamed off. After the usual scramble to clear the deck the spool was running very low. Dreams of a 30KG “croc” cuta flooded the anglers mind but were soon shattered when a small Marlin became airborne behind the jetski. The fish was fought for quite some time and every time it got near the ski it would charge off or pinwheel below the ski. Eventually after gaining some line the Marlin decided to give Slayer Tait some of his own medicine but doing some acrobatic flick flacks and crashing into the jetski almost impaling him like a human shish kebab. This fish was eventually landed and again released after a quick photo. 

Although these fish were not giants it is an amazing achievement to land them off such a small craft without the assistance of a crew member. All these fish were properly revived, and all swam off strongly to hopefully grow into giants for us to catch in the future. 

The tackle used was Sportex Premium Cuta traces rigged with 4/0 BKK Haku live bait and no4 BKK Raptor-Z trebles, Shimano Talica reels, Sportex Triple-S High Abrasion and Sportex Big Game leader line. The jetski is a Racetech supplied 2021 Yamaha FX HO 1800 Wave Runner fitted with Racetech Tubbies and Lowrance electronics. For any newbies to the sport they can follow @slayetait on Instagram and Facebook as he fishes almost daily along the KZN coastline.

We must always remember that we are the guardians of this planet so we must practice sustainable harvesting so that there is something left for the next generation to enjoy. Limit your catch don’t catch your limit.

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