WELL after a slow trip with my old friend Paul, the owner of the original Viking, my new clients Sarah and Scott Smith from the US joined us in Cooktown.
Sarah was a very keen angler and has been in the sport now for three years. After an early lunch and chair setup specially for her, we were underway.
We worked No 8 Ribbon Reef most of the day. Hooked a fish but it got off. I had a hunch to try a spot on No 9 Ribbon Reef that has worked with the current running this way before, and at 5.40pm it paid off...
The right 'rigger went off with a crack, and Sarah was hooked up solid. The fish was making all the moves of a large one, and then she showed herself. It was another very large fish for Viking 11.
I was amazed at the energy and natural ability that Sarah had in the chair with the very heavy tackle, and what she lacked in size she certainly made up for in strength and determination.
The fish had all the tricks, and showed herself fully many times. Believe it or not sunset came and Sarah took on "sunset" (maximum) drag without a problem. Our opportunity came and Randy Baker grabbed the leader. The fish had been caught ... Randy did his best to keep a hold but the big seas got us at the wrong time, and the leader got pulled from his hand. We continued to fight the fish into the dark, and with sharks starting to show on the Furuno, I made a call to cut this big beautiful black marlin free.
After a tricky trip back behind No 9 Ribbon in the dark dodging the bommies, I climbed down the ladder from the tower and congratulated a tired lady who had won my admiration as a great angler.