When Bruce Boyd called Kevin to see if he wanted to go fishing with Anthony Matarese Jr. on Reel Chaos, a big beautiful ocean fishing yacht, it didn’t take more than a tenth of a second for him to start packing. This is Kevin’s story about his ocean trip last week.
Anthony is a world class instructor for clay target shooting, and is a captain, along with his father, on Reel Chaos.
They left here at 2:00 in the morning to board at 4:30am. The fish are found off the continental shelf – a 2 and a half hour ride out to the Norfolk and Washington canyons. Their intention was tuna fishing, but instead – they got white marlin.
For 2.5 hours, they didn’t see a thing – just water and dark skies. All of a sudden, as day was breaking, boats starting appearing on the horizon, one by one. Eventually, there was a fleet of some 15 boats out there. And these were just those that were remaining – the tuna fishing season is over. These are the boats that enter white marlin tournaments around the world, with huge purses of millions of dollars.
The bait preparation is elaborate with umbrella rigs and teasers – combinations of plastics and frozen prepared baitfish – ballyhoo and salted mullet. The crew prepped the bait by sewing wire through the fish’s heads, attaching weight and small rubber eyes through which hooks were inserted.
The white marlin, a species of billfish, similar to sailfish and swordfish, were feeding, fattening up for their migration to Venezuela, and the crew on Reel Chaos that day last week happened to be in the right place at the right time. The fishing reports that day weren’t very favorable, and the crew set out with low expectations, but ended up having the fishing trip of a lifetime. They caught (and released) 27 white marlin – 3 to 5 feet in length.
Arriving at daybreak, the action started right away, and lasted till 3pm. As in any fishing, spotting birds was the key to finding the bait balls that the large fish were swimming through, slashing and eating. “We were hunting the hunters” said Tim. Here he is with fish on.
Tim and Chuck…
Here’s Bruce – the host who puts these trips together. A retired sports fishing captain, he now goes out as much as he can for fun.
…and a classic Eric Werner shot.
Every single time Eric was up on the bridge with Anthony, they’d spot fish. Eric is a first mate who has put the crew on a lot of fish in the Chesapeake, and he did the same in the ocean. And the fish….wow!
A ballet on the surface of the water – with fish jumping out of the water so high, fighting. When they couldn’t get free, they’d dive deep – they’re one big muscle designed to move fast. From the bridge, Eric could see the marlin swim through the bait balls, super fast – slashing and killing as many bait fish as they could, then swimming around and eating. Lightning fast, they were there – and then they’d disappear, faster than the blink of an eye.
Real sports fishermen of the Chesapeake, like Eric, Bruce, Steve Fegan and the rest, all try to fit in a few big game ocean fishing trips each year. This one was Hemingway-style.
Interested? Click here. Hope you get to experience a trip like they did.