Sport Fish­ing with Ex­o­dus

Tropical Traveller Magazine - - CON­TENTS -

One thing the ex­perts will tell you – Saint Lu­cia has ex­cel­lent sport fish­ing around its coast, along with plenty of com­pa­nies who know the wa­ters and know their bill­fish! And let’s face it, how many times do you get the op­por­tu­nity to cook and eat some­thing you’ve caught your­self? Hop­ping aboard Ex­o­dus Boat Char­ters for a half-day fish­ing trip, Trop­i­cal Trav­eller got a real in­sight into why the sport is such so pop­u­lar - and fas­ci­nat­ing – plus a real work­out for the bi- and tri­ceps for any­one try­ing to firm up. Although its rep­u­ta­tion might be other­wise, bill­fish­ing isn’t a male bas­tion sport, so in the in­ter­ests of fem­i­nism, it was an all-girl posse that boarded the “sexy” Ex­o­dus 4, all ex­cited and not en­tirely sure what to ex­pect. Cap­tain Tom is a vet­eran in the busi­ness, and his crew Kimo and Ser­vice were on hand to make sure my two gal pals and me were briefed on the fea­tures and fa­cil­i­ties of high-pow­ered sport-fish­ing boat be­fore set­ting out from their dock at IGY Rod­ney Bay Ma­rina. De­spite all his years ply­ing the ocean blue, it’s ob­vi­ous Tom is pas­sion­ate about fish­ing and loves to share his ex­pe­ri­ence – and sto­ries – with vis­i­tors to the is­land. Head­ing into Rod­ney Bay and north­west, we passed Pi­geon Is­land and started get­ting se­ri­ous as we en­tered the Mar­tinique chan­nel, where the rolling waves were around ten feet high, giv­ing a few stom­ach lurches and gig­gles as the gals found their sea legs. Re­galed by first mate Kimo with fish­ing sto­ries and jokes, we watched in fas­ci­na­tion as the guys started bait­ing up to eight lines and plac­ing them in po­si­tion so we could start fish­ing; the lures them­selves are like some­thing from a Christ­mas tree, in bright colours with metal­lic fringes and se­ri­ous hooks to which small fish called bal­la­hoo are at­tached in or­der

to tempt any pass­ing hun­gry fish. With lines in the wa­ter, Ex­o­dus 4 headed to the fish-finder buoy, which is lo­cated in an area known for great re­sults, and the wait be­gan, as we plied the rolling ocean in blus­tery, blue con­di­tions with a few fluffy clouds and a high level of ex­pec­ta­tion. Con­fi­dence was not an is­sue, and the fact that the ladies had zero ex­pe­ri­ence in fish­ing of any type didn’t ham­per the plans to cook up what­ever catch we landed with gar­lic, lime and black pep­per – the lo­cal sea­son­ing of choice. In the com­fort­able cabin, some­what pro­tected from the spray of the mon­u­men­tal wake, we took up reccy po­si­tions, looked for mag­nif­i­cent frigate birds over­head; Kimo ex­plained they are a great in­di­ca­tor of where the fish are likely to be, although we had no luck as we trailed af­ter a few flocks of th­ese beau­ti­ful swoop­ing seabirds who were ac­ro­bat­i­cally dip­ping into the waves and tak­ing a swim-rest. And so be­gan the real ex­pe­ri­ence of sport-fish­ing, be­cause it is very much an ac­tiv­ity of ex­tremes; af­ter the ini­tial adren­a­line rush of ex­cite­ment fades, and the power boat trawls up, down and all around, the wait­ing game has be­gun and all eyes are fixed on the lines, the brightly-coloured floats and the sea, the sea, the sea. We watched and scanned the waves and an hour passed with­out in­ci­dent, as the un­du­la­tions of Ex­o­dus 4 on the waves hyp­no­tised us to the point of sleep – in one case at least! Then just as we were think­ing it wasn’t to be our day, craaac­c­ckkk! FISH ON! First in the chair was Lit­tle Lyz, who valiantly started to reel in what­ever was on the end of the line; her tiny hands had a hard time hang­ing onto the han­dle but with coach­ing in tech­nique from Cap­tain Tom and the boys, as well as some cheer­lead­ing from the gals, helped her through the burn – “keep go­ing, you’re nearly there,” they said for the first of what felt like sev­eral hun­dred times. Next up was Yummy Yana, whose gym work­outs were ev­i­dent as her bi­ceps and pecs were more than a match for our fishy friend, and she im­pressed ev­ery­one with her skill and de­ter­mi­na­tion. Then it was TT Edi­tor’s turn, and

Cap­tain Tom helps nab a big mar­lin the very next day!

It's much harder than it looks - es­pe­cially when the fish is 300lbs!

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