Amazing news from the Wanderer! The big blue beauty scored a billfish Grand Slam on August 16 with releases of Black Marlin, Blue Marlin, Striped Marlin, and Pacific Sailfish!
It was an honor to welcome our good friends Charly and Silvia back to the Wanderer; historically they have cleaned up on BIG Yellowfin Tunas in November, but this time they came to Nosara at just the right time to snare big billfish.
Silvia’s Sailfish got the party started at 11am with the release stamped at 11:15am.
Two lines screamed off for Craig and Charly at 12:37 as one Blue Marlin and one Black Marlin assaulted the Wanderer‘s spread.
Excellent fish handling by First Mate Alex in seeing to the safe release of both fish during a very hectic double hook-up.
The afternoon continued to produce strikes, but it wasn’t until 4:15pm that the hook once again struck paydirt. Charly belted up to battle this Striped Marlin:
Upon release the Wanderer had scored one of the toughest feats in fishing: the Billfish Grand Slam!
Charlie and the boys couldn’t resist adding one more full day on the mighty Wanderer before returning to the States, and Capt. Phillips finally got his chance at the fish of a lifetime.
Charlie Phillips: Today was an epic end to a fantasy week for me. I battled the most noble of the billfish, the majestic Blue Marlin, and was rewarded with a photo, the hook removed and in my pocket then a successful release. One of the best days I have ever experienced on the water. And better yet we ended up two!
The second Marlin (below) came at 11am for Charlie fresh on the heels of his first (above).
Jason followed up with his own excellent Marlin release.
Charlie Phillips: “This was by far the most enjoyable vacation that myself or anyone in my group has ever experienced. Your staff is wonderful and took care of us as though we were family the entire time, something that is greatly appreciated. And your captains and crews are true masters of their craft. As a working captain myself, it is a true joy watching them work to make our trips a great success.”
Dave Wenzel was back in action on the Wanderer hoping to follow up his Sailfish release from earlier in the week with the crown jewel of offshore billfishing: a big bad Marlin! Captain William took the blue beauty 10 miles offshore and the monster came calling at 1:28pm.
Dave showed his Northeast Florida angling mettle as he strapped in to fight the furious beast.
Young son: “Why is Alex shaking the fish so violently?”
Dad: “Son, that’s the fish shaking the man!”
After a harrowing 25 minute battle Mr. Wenzel brought the beast alongside the Wanderer for a wonderful release.
Another amazing release by First Mate Alex, complete with his signature romantic sendoff
From Dave’s Facebook page: “I enjoyed the Wanderer 4 days and and only switched from David on the Explorer the last day (after they slammed the yellowfin I may add) to chase that Marlin dream.”
“I saw her, I hooked her, I fought her, she jumped a lot, Alex the mate and I landed her, then I jumped up and down like a 12 year old!!!!!”
“I did it, I won, 400 lb Blue Marlin. Now a bottle of Advil and an Imperial!
“Thanks to Alex for all the coaching and talk of techniques and information of the entire fishery. We enjoyed our entire visit. Well done NPR!”
Chuck Elzer, Vicki, Elizabeth and Chuck IV returned to the Wanderer for a final pass at the blue water behemoths, and the amazing flagship delivered a dream trip for these Florida anglers. How about TWO Marlin releases backed-up by two mammoth Bull Dorados.
If this were their scorecard for the whole week it would be impressive; to do it in just 5 hours is truly FishingNosara Hall of Fame worthy!
The first Marlin came in at 2:15pm and was a mammoth fish. Looks at the shoulders on this monster; it looks like it’s been bench-pressing since elementary school.
Here’s what Chuck wrote in his email:
“This day of fishing was beyond my wildest expectations! I was hoping for a sail but didn’t really expect an opportunity for marlin. The marlin has always been one of those “must” experiences for me.”
“Not only did I get to experience it, my family did too! No photo or video can come close to the experience of seeing and feeling the power and majesty of that fish. I look forward to recommending Nosara to everyone I know.”
After a safe release by First Mate Alex, the Wanderer continued to troll for about 30 minutes when the outrigger line reported a strong strike. Once this big Bull Dorado reared it’s head, the word ‘strong’ seems like an understatement…this greenie looks like the Incredible Hulk!
With all these filets it’s clear that the Elzers are either A.) Going to have a huge dinner tonight, B.) Make lots of friends around town by giving away filets, or C.) Need to buy several FishingNosara soft coolers to bring these filets back to Florida.
Time was running out on the Elzer’s fishing adventure when the ‘Never Surrender’ attitude ofCaptain William and the Wanderer shone brightly. At 4:20pm a second massive Marlin took the hook and the posse strapped in for the final battle of the week.
What a perfect send-off for the Elzer’s…their four day adventure on the Wanderer is over for now, but the memories (and photos) will last a lifetime!
Chuck and the Good Doctors topped all of their great performances to-date with a fanstastic pair of Marlin releases backed up by a big Sailfish release. Most anglers spend their whole lives trying to best a big Pacific Marlin, so to see these fellas capture two on a single trip is truly and accomplishment.
The first Marlin came in just before noon and was a deep-water brawler; not a lot of jumps and surface action but a lot of brute strength about 40 feet under the water.
Great capture and release by the fearless First Mate Alex!
The second Marlin wasn’t far behind, with a safe release reported just after 1pm. Another amazing fish!
For the victory lap the fellas hooked up a wonderful Sailfish and before too long the third trophy fish of the day was released.
Duncan Evans hails from merry old England and brought his group to Nosara for a full day fishing excursion on the Wanderer. The mighty flagship build upon her wonderful performance earlier in the week by adding another massive Marlin release to the scorecard.
We’ve always said that if you want the fish of a lifetime, you have to put in the time. Duncan made a wise decision by opting for the full day trip rather than a half or 3/4 day trip. Big game offshore fishing is like any other investment: the more your put in the more you get back.
The illuminated tiger stripes means that this fish was reeled in posthaste and has lots of energy left in her tank. First Mate Alex showed extreme care in the handling of this “still-green” Marlin to ensure the safety of the boat, crew, anglers and of course the fish.
This fish swam away clean and we look forward to battling her again really soon. Excellent catch by Duncan Evans and truly the fish of a lifetime!
Hall of Famer Chuck Darner was sitting in church between his two grown sons a few weeks ago and had a vision. He wrote the vision down on the corner of the weekly bulletin and handed it to his sons. It read, “Let’s go fishing in Costa.”
While Chuck has visited us several times, his sons had not yet taken the adventure. Tickets bought and trips booked, but then a change of plans! One of the boys is a freelance insurance adjuster and his special skills were placed in high demand in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.
He couldn’t get away for this trip, but the Darner posse found a worthy pinch hitter in the form of Chuck’s 14 year-old grandson.
Chuck told me that he was hoping to get the youngster on a nice Sailfish, but unfortunately the mighty Wanderer could not find a sail on this trip.
The season’s first Black Marlin release will have to suffice!
This magnificent fish is the culmination of Captain William and the Wanderer‘s prowess and Chuck Darner’s indomitable fishing spirit.
For the dinner table they whacked this 50lbs. Wahoo which is reminiscent of the monsters Chuck catches off the ledge in Jacksonville in his Powercat High Roller.
The Darner Boys have several more trips on the books and we anticipate some more inspired from these North Florida anglers.