In the early morning sun we hoisted our anchor and moved along the sandbanks that led us to the portal to the open sea. As the first group of islands passed us by, the water gradually turned into an ever deeper blue. Our outboard plowed through the rising waves, the splashing water gradually covered the bow with a salty crust, and our sun shade defied the mounting heat. A light breeze from the southwest and the slightly cloudy sky promised ideal conditions for our trip. One of the locals had informed us that schools of tuna regularly hunted for swarms of small fish just off a nearby reef.
We set course and stocked our 9’ rods with freshly tied streamers, flapping in the airstream and waiting for their first contact. After making ourselves comfortable on deck, we were could enjoy the steady rocking of our boat and the salty sea air, which occasionally mixed with the benzine of the outboard. A group of seagulls appeared about a kilometer ahead of us. They patrolled over the waves and were accompanied by numerous boobies, which darted like spears into the foaming water. When we got in range, it did not take many casts. A short, hard hit and the long-awaited whirring of the reels was not long in coming. The line cut through the water surface like a rotary hoe. Beneath us flashed the silver flanks of the skipjack, which fled directly into the depths.
When his powers seemed to fade, I regain some backing, which was met with an even more intense flight. There was now only the creaking of our barge and the stubborn pulling of the line. Everything else lay far away. I turned the reel slowly. The tuna gradually rose like a blue torpedo in large circles to the surface, only to fight its way again into the depths. He repeated the game one last time and finally showed himself on the water’s surface. We brouht him slowly to the boat and admired the wonderful design and form of the dashing and tireless long-distance swimmer which has adapted perfectly over time to its medium.
Text: Tobias Cordes Fotos: Bruno Silva Cordes