Madeira island news and views.
Photo from left to right: Me (Paul Watson) of MadeiraCharters.com, Luke Kilgour and father Neil Kilgour.
Madeira Island: 14 Year-old LUKE KILGOUR takes the decision to release potential junior world record Atlantic Blue Marlin estimated at weighing 1100lbs.
Funchal, Madeira, July 13th, 2013 – Today was an epic end to a two-day fishing trip I booked for clients from England, Neil (Father) and son Luke Kilgour (14 years old). Yesterday we had a big blue marlin of around 800lbs come up on the short left and took a massive bite with head and shoulders out of the water, she took the lure and ran with it for 50 metres but that was it, she came free.
TODAY THOUGH, Luke who has never caught anything bigger than a small Pufferfish before and who was enjoying his first blue marlin fishing experience ever (as a Christmas present from Dad), was lucky to see another monster blue marlin come up in the spread. With head and broad shoulders out of the water she looked at the short left corner first and then crossed over to the short right corner. It was just after noon and it seemed an eternity as she repeatedly dived down and then came back again to the lure. After a minute had passed by she finally committed and went for the short right. What followed was a show by a pure ‘hollywood’ fish with ‘greyhounding’ across the surface and multiple jumps.
The crew onboard BALANCAL today were skippers Anibal Fernandes, myself (Paul Watson) and Claudio Agrela. Claudio and I were working the deck and we just looked at each other and exclaimed BIG FISH!!!!!! Luke was in the chair and after a two hour fifteen minute epic battle the blue marlin was alongside. Anibal who is well used to estimating weights on big blues put her at a solid 1100lbs, but for good orders sake we will report her as a ‘grander’ plus! The tail fin height alone was WELL OVER a metre! Even though this fish would have smashed the existing junior record (around 800lbs I believe), the decision was taken by all onboard to resuscitate and release the fish. We did this by attaching a rope to the snooter that we were already using to control the fish and by towing the big old girl for a period of 45 minutes before finally letting her swim off to fully recover. What a lucky boy Luke is! In the picture is from left to right, myself (Paul Watson of MadeiraCharters.com, Luke Kilgour and dad, Neil Kilgour.
Congratulations Luke from us all at BALANCAL and MADEIRA CHARTERS.
A 6-minute video is available at:
About Big Game Fishing on the M.Y. Balancal
Captain Anibal Fernandes is recognised as one of Madeira’s most experienced fisherman. Anibal spent twenty years fishing commercially in South Africa before returning to his native Madeira in 1982. It was at this time that he met Roddy Hayes and eventually became the skipper of ‘Anguila’. Their first season together was one of the most successful ever, with over 80 Blue Marlin caught and tagged. He went on to skipper both ‘Lara Jade’ and ‘Margarita’ and during this time guided anglers to almost 20 ‘granders’. He has now been the skipper of ‘Balancal’ for almost five years.
Motor Yacht Balancal
The Balancal is a British-built Lochin 333 Flybridge sportfisherman, launched in 2001. She was originally commissioned as a private sportfishing yacht and still continues to serve her owners in that capacity, but for the last three years she has also been placed in charter, taking her guests to sea in comfort and safety.
The 33-foot Lochin hull has proved itself in a variety of demanding roles, including that of RNLI lifeboat, and is renowned for its seakeeping and safety. The Balancal is powered by twin 300 hp Perkins diesel engines giving her both speed and manoeuverability. The interior is outfitted to yacht standards with a spacious open cabin and marine head.
A comprehensive ensemble of fishing tackle is carried. For blue marlin we fish with four 130 lb outfits comprising bent butt chair rods and Shimano Tiagra 130 reels spooled with dacron backing and hi-visibility nylon monofilament topshot. A range of lighter tackle is employed for smaller game fish. The lure box is equipped with a select collection of proven artificial baits.
Over the last seven years, despite spending relatively little time on the water, the Balancal has more than proved herself as a fish raiser with notable highlights including a fish of over 1000 lbs hooked and lost in September 2003, a giant fish estimated at 1100+ lbs released in September 2004, a double hookup with two fish estimated at 700 and 1000 lb+ in June 2005, and in July 2006 the successful catch and release of three blue marlin in a single day.
Captain Anibal’s unequalled experience at the helm, combined with the capabilities and equipment of the Balancal, provide her anglers with the best possible chance of success.
The boats’ videographer specializing in big game fishing can be booked by appointment to record your day’s charter.