Once upon a time there was a fishing lure named Shark Slayer. It was a
large flat headed lure with a red and white skirt, sporting two tandem
double hooks. Shark Slayer was a bargain purchased for only twelve
dollars at a fishing tackle store in the Canary Islands.
Unfortunately, I only bought one of these lures when I should have invested
in at least two or three, because Shark Slayer had an extremely short life
on Exit Only.
Shark Slayer was such a large lure we didn't expect to catch anything with
it. We thought it would be used primarily to attract fish to the other
lures that we trolled behind our yacht. At times we trail up to eight
lures, and Shark Slayer created a great deal of turbulence and left a large
bubble trail in the water. Pelagic ocean fish are attracted by bubble
trails, and it made sense to put Shark Slayer at the head of pack generating
a large bubble trail. We trailed Shark Slayer about twenty feet behind
the boat, but we didn't believe there were any fish big enough to attack
such a large lure on such a short tether. We were wrong.
We wanted to catch mahi mahi. This species of fish have a peculiar
habit of living under floating debris. If you sail by floating crates,
barrels, or logs, there is a high probability mahi mahi are lurking in the
area. We were sailing in the eastern Atlantic when Morgan spotted a
large floating crate just ahead of Exit Only. He called me on deck to
take a look at it as we sailed by with the crate fifty feet from the boat.
I told Morgan to keep a sharp lookout on our lures because there might be a
mahi mahi hiding under the crate. Within fifteen seconds of speaking
those words, a giant mahi mahi hit Shark Slayer at high speed and started
thrashing in the water. Since it was only twenty feet behind the boat,
it was easy to pull him in and land him on the transom. It was a big
mahi mahi, forty two inches long, and Morgan estimated that it weighed about
thirty pounds. Morgan and I double teamed him, cleaned him, cut him
up, and we had four good meals from this bounty of the sea. Donna
prepared the fish in four different ways, and we voted on the most delicious
recipe. Fried, curried, and ceviche were all at the top of our list of
the best ways to enjoy mahi mahi. Chalk up an unexpected victory for
Two days later we placed Shark Slayer back in the water as we approaced the
Cape Verde Islands. We used 175 pound nylon test line so there would
be no chance of loosing Shark Slayer. After all, what type of fish
would be capable of breaking 175 pound test line. We later found out
the Cape Verde Islands are one of the best areas in the world to catch giant
blue marlin. People fly from Europe to engage in sport fishing trying
to catch marlin. But we didn't know that at the time. We had
five lures trailing behind the boat at eight o'clock in the morning, and
suddenly, whammo! A massive blue marlin came up out of the deep and
hit Shark Slayer about thirty feet behind our boat. He instantly broke
the 175 pound test line taking Shark Slayer from us as he took off running.
He was one supercharged marlin jumping out of the water behind our yacht.
We could see Shark Slayer hanging out of the corner of his mouth as he
leaped into the air trying to shake free from the lure.
Alas, Shark Slayer is gone to the depths of the waters around Cape Verde.
He will have an exciting ride with his new friend, the marlin, for the next
week or two until the hook rusts out of his mouth. Then Shark Slayer
will go to the bottom, and the marlin will be free from this temporary
irritation in the corner of his mouth. Then all little fishes of the
Cape Verde Basin will need to watch out, because the blue marlin will be on
the prowl once again.
P.S. There are sharks out here in the Atlantic Ocean. One of the
yachts traveling with us stopped for a swim because there was no wind and
the seas were flat. Their swimming session didn't last long, because a
big Mako shark cruised up to their boat, and they instantly got out of the
water. So much for swimming in water that is five thousand feet deep
and that has finned predators - denizens of the deep - on the prowl for easy