Pursuits: Big-Fish Story
On Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit, blue-water hunters go eye-to-eye with giants of the deep.
When the wake-up call rang at 6 am, my eyes were wide open and my nerves on edge. In an hour, I would meet a catamaran that would take me 16 miles out to sea, where I would dive into open ocean and try to spear a gigantic fish.
The sport—called blue-water hunting—is practiced around the world, but I was giving it a go in the clear sparkling sea off of Mexico’s lush Riviera Nayarit. Here, tuna, wahoo, and marlin can tip the scales at nearly 1,000 pounds. If you go hunting and are lucky, you will see one. If you are luckier, you will land one with a spear. During my visit here last year, a group of Brazilian guys (“office bellies,” my guide called them) shot a 686-pound blue marlin. The general manager of the St. Regis Punta Mita, where the Brazilians and I were staying, showed me a picture of the fish on his iPhone. It was as tall, and nearly as wide, as the Brazilian who caught it.
On that trip, I hunted in shallower waters just swimming distance from shore. My “speargun” was loaded with thick rubber bands and the reef was swimming with easy targets. I floated over it with a snorkel mask on and easily popped off fish the size of two of my outstretched hands. I came home with dinner that the St. Regis’s chefs prepared as a personal feast of sashimi, ceviche, fish tacos, and fillet.
But today was blue-water hunting. I could come home with dinner for 400.
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