Adam Fisk was busy hooking broomtail grouper and big jack crevalle from his kayak when his live-bait rod went off.
After paddling out from the beach off Panama, in late August, Fisk had hooked a small bigeye trevally earlier and had put it out in hopes of catching a big roosterfish.
As he held the rod, the hook came tight not in a rooster, but in a massive black marlin which cleared the water while Fisk held on as his kayak took off toward deeper waters off the Azuero Peninsula.
Read Next: Kayak-Fishing Cedros Island, Baja
Fisk radioed Los Buzos, a new resort just west of Cambutal that specializes in kayak-fishing. By the time a panga made it out to get photos and offer support if needed, Fisk had been towed a mile. The black continued to jump — Fisk counted nearly 30 leaps in total during the tremendous four-hour battle which saw him towed nearly 10 miles.
Not long before dark, he leadered the fish, which then swam away from the kayak. The catch is easily one of the largest marlin ever caught and released by a kayak angler, unaided.
Fisk fished from a Jackson Coosa FD kayak, using an Accurate Valiant 1000 two-speed spooled with 80-pound Diamond line. Fisk says he has hooked other marlin and notes that the year-round fishery out of Los Buzos also offers kayakers action from sailfish, yellowfin tuna, roosters, cubera and many other game fish of Panama’s Pacific waters.