Marlin to Go

16 04 2013

This post was originally published on Ladies In Camo at http://ladiesincamo.com/lictoth/2013/04/14/diane-hassinger-marlin-to-go/

While fishing in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, I was able to hook up with a huge blue marlin.  I was fishing with spinning tackle with 40 pound test line.  It took all of my abilities to keep this giant on the line. All the while it was jumping, twisting and racing away from us.
My husband Dale was manning the controls of the boat, and between his maneuvering and my working the rod, we were managing to gain line on him.
I was being sprayed by the salt water and occasionally a wave would crash over the back of the boat.  Half of the time I was fighting by feel, since my eyes stung so bad from the salt.  Several magnificent jumps were made by the marlin as it came closer to the boat.  I know everyone was shouting both encouragements and directions while I was fighting, but I could only hear the blood pounding in my ears.  After a ferocious fight of 15 minutes or so, water was poured over my reel to keep it from heating up even more.  By this time I was soaked to the skin.  Occasionally the marlin would slow down and I could gain quite a bit of line on him, other times he just made my reel whine as he sped away.
Finally after a very tough 45 minute fight, my marlin was brought alongside the boat for the last time.  He was brought on board, unhooked, a picture quickly taken, and much to my Mexican crews dismay, he was released.  Marlin is very delicious to eat, but this fish was not fought to the point of exhaustion, although I was!  As he was release, a quick flick of his tail sent water cascading over us for a final goodbye.  As he swam away, I could not help but feel a lot of admiration for this fish.  It may sound funny, but I have a lot of respect for animals and fish, and if I am not trying to fill my freezer, I have no desire to kill anything.  Catch and release, and a chance to fight again tomorrow!
This one was estimated to go between 340 and 370 pounds, not my biggest, but one of the most memorable!  I have landed over 65 marlin, which is not to bad for a redneck girl from western Pennsylvania!

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The Adventures of Edie Ott-A Buck of a Lifetime

2 04 2013

The post was originally published on Ladies in Camo at http://ladiesincamo.com/lictoth/2013/04/01/edie-ott-buck-of-a-lifetime/

For several years I have tried to get drawn for one of the most coveted hunting tags.  Each year I knew this is it; I will finally be going on one of my bucket list hunts!  No such luck, until now!  This would be my once in a lifetime hunt!

When they contacted me that I had finally been drawn, a thousand questions popped into my mind.  I needed to know; what is the best time of year, what type of weather, best caliber, and of course the best person to guide me.  As luck would have it, my loving husband knew exactly who should guide me on this history making trip.  He is awesome that way!  When he realized I would be hunting this famed animal, he did everything in his power to make it happen.  And so arrangements were made, and off I went.

I didn’t realize how hard the hunt would be, both physically and mentally.  I sat in tree stands, blinds and stalked the meadows.  I would scrutinize every small sound or movement.  I was beginning to think they didn’t exist.  I had never hunted this hard or long for anything, without seeing at least one.  But I don’t give up!

The last morning of the hunt, I was feeling deflated, but I can’t shoot one in camp.  So off I went, once more.  This day started off much like the rest of them-nothing!  Then just before I was going to call it quits, I saw movement off to the left.  It wasn’t much; in fact the movement was so slight you could have almost imagined it.  I kept watching and wishing.

Finally I could see a small amount of antler.  Something was there!  It really was!  Slowly I made my way into a position to make out the animal clearly.  This was an extremely time consuming process, since I had to belly crawl over briars, rocks and poison ivy.  You try belly crawling when you don’t want to touch anything below you!  Eventually I was able to see the whole animal.  He was of mythical proportions!  I had found a Boone and Crocket to be sure!

I slowly slid the safety off of my .22 and tried to get my nerves to settle down.  This was an epic moment for me!  My heart was racing!  I took a deep breath and squeezed the trigger.  Never have I heard a .22 bark like that, it echoed in the silence.  I saw the buck hunch up and take off.  I knew I got him good!  I waited for what seemed an eternity and went to find the blood trail.  There was a good trail and some fur, this should be easy.  I followed the trail for 20 yards more or less, and there, laid out in some ferns was my trophy buck!!!

I sent a text to my guide and husband.  Of course they thought I was joking, so I sent them a picture.  I am the only hunter that I know of that has actually tagged an elusive legendary jackalope!  I apologize for the picture, but my husband was so impressed, he couldn’t stop laughing while he took this.

I like to challenge myself, so next up on my bucket list:  a Snipe Hunt!

Finished Jackelope

Happy April Fool’s Day Everyone!

Photo Credit:  Photo Shop and a little Imagination