Disappearing Big Game Fish

For many people summertime is the time to try their luck fishing in the ocean for a big game fish such as a marlin, tuna, sailfish or dorado. These fish fight very hard and can provide the thrill of a lifetime. However there are some clouds on the horizon. Commercial long line fishing, global warming and loss of habitat may make fishing for these fish a thing of memory. A recent New York Times article Article Here suggests that new regulations are in order as big game fish populations are at a fraction of their former levels. In the United States most billfish are released but in developing countries people keep billfish for food. In Mexico many billfish are kept and made into ceviche. Big game fish may be more valuable left in the water to bring in tourist dollars from wealthy people wishing to spend thousands of dollars to go fishing.

My first big game fish was a tuna I caught off the coast of Delaware. I fished for many hours without a bite and then in the early morning I finally hooked one on standup gear. After a tiring 45 minute battle I finally boated a 64 lb yellowfin. Since then I have fished for sailfish in Acapulco Mexico. These fish fight on top often jumping clear of the water. I have many photos of the fish I caught though I have yet to get a photo of a sailfish jumping out of the water-it is practically impossible to get the timing right though a clue is where the line is in the water. As a billfish gets ready to jump the angle of the line will change almost parallel to the water. This means the fish is close to the surface getting ready to jump.

Good photo opportunities are not only the fish themselves but also the fancy boats and equipment that are used to catch these fish. A sport fishing boat can cost upwards of a million dollars. Sometimes just a photo of trolling rod on the open sea can make a good photo. Close-ups of fishing lures, reels and bait can be effective.

Let us hope that world leaders see the value of big game fish and take steps to preserve them before they become a memory.

Photo credits: Christopher Pendleton, Eti Swinford, Lunamarina, Mateo Zuluaga, Royen0822, Robert Pernell, Rramirez125, Richard Gunion, Thomas Barrat, Juan Jose Tugores .

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August 05, 2009


what amazing photos! nice blog to! only went fishing once - caught small 4 fish only :((

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