Deep Sea Fishing with Hemingway

Ever since antiquity, the vast waters of the World’s oceans have attracted people. Mystified by the deep blue or black of its depths and allured by the turquoise freshness of its most beautiful reefs, people all across the continents were drawn to the seven seas for both adventures and, even more prominently, food.

Bimini Deep Sea Fishing
Bimini, Bahamas

In recent centuries, additional purposes were developed: international shipping, travel, and tourism are only a handful of examples for the importance of the deep blue sea. For our purpose, however, we want to focus on an indeed very gentlemanly activity that regularly evokes whole range of emotions. The highest praise from aficionados to loathing contempt from opponents, deep sea fishing gets it all. Well, as a matter of fact, fishing itself can provoke intense reactions. For some, it is the quintessential Sunday afternoon to sit in a boat or stand in a fresh stream, feeling unison with nature. For others, it is a simple waste of time with no particularly useful outcome anyways, even if the gods of luck were generous with you. Deep sea fishing amplifies the emotions behind the two camps: for anglers around the World, it is the ultimate experience. For others – we may call them tree-huggers – it’s a waste of time, money, and nature’s creatures.

Costa Rica Deep Sea Fishing
Marlin off the coast of Costa Rica

Let’s not get into that. What it definitely is, no matter what opinion you fielded in the first place, is a unique experience. Of course, we do not talk about the charter cruises that will leave in the morning and make port at 3pm. These cruises are perfect if you want to spend a couple of hours in the sun, quite possibly in the charming company of a 300 lbs. bear fighter from Nebraska who’s puking over “the rough seas” you are experiencing, barely two miles from the shore line. After a day’s work, or in our case a couple of hours’ work, you will make port with a handful of 0.5 lbs red snappers that will each make a perfect half of a fish stick later. And that’s perfectly fine. But not more.

We are talking about the long lines dragging behind your boat for hours, the black and the blue marlin jumping gracefully in its fight with the angler, who is himself struggling to get the harness on in time in order to not be pulled over board. That’s what we are talking about.

You don’t need to be Ernest Hemingway to appreciate both the sporty character and the fundamentally existentialist nature of deep sea fishing. Although it definitely helps; Hemingway did some of his greatest work on the waters around Key West and later Cuba, with metaphors and parables from the World of fishing galore. His boat, Pilar, was his truest companion and by his side longer than any of his wives.

Yucatan Deep Sea Fishing
Divers in Yucatan, fresh water cenote (natural pool)

Entering the World of deep sea fishing is a considerable task, and we dearly recommend professional help to do it. Unless the gentleman’s means are almost unlimited, it will unlikely to pay-off to acquire equipment beyond the personal garments needed for this adventures. Most agencies offering “the real thing” will provide you with decent materials. But we will certainly not discourage you to buy a boat if you think it is necessary to properly enjoy your new hobby, we can certainly recommend a couple of good manufacturers for your ride of choice. For smaller boats, we would try Florida-based Boston Whaler or Kansas’ Cobalt. Mikelson Yachts in San Diego can provide a vessel slightly bigger and if you simply don’t know where to put all your money, try Lucca in Italy, home of Azimut Yachts. And of course our list is in no way complete here…

Let’s assume that you have just decided on going deep sea fishing. The first question that comes to mind should be the “where?” As always, it is about location, location, location. For your convenience, we have put together some hot spots around the globe with some of the relevant big game fish seasons:

Mexico Deep Sea Fishing
Isla San Benedicto near Mexico

Bimini, The BahamasThis tiny islands is famous for its marlin. The season for blue marlin typically starts in April and runs through July. In winter, Bimini is famous for its wahoo. The Bahamas is also the place where the World record for Dorado (also called Mahi Mahi) was set: 88 lbs.

Costa Rica: Many anglers consider Costa Rica one of the best and most versatile fishing grounds. Sailfish, dorado, marlin, but also decently sized tuna, tarpon, snapper, and snook.

Yucatan, Mexico: The Eastern shore of the peninsula, north of Belize, offers a variety of big game fish opportunities. The port of Puerto Aventuras is the only deep water marina south of Cancun and it should be easy to find a boat to take you on a trip fishing for Tuna (year long), wahoo (November-January), sailfish (March-June), or marlin (May-July).

Mexico, West coast: the World record for tuna was caught close to Isla San Benedicto and weighted a little more than 388 lbs. In general, the Pacific seems to be a great place for deep sea fishing, either in Southern California or Mexico.

 “Perhaps I should not have been a fisherman, he thought. But that was the thing that I was born for.”
― Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea

Photo: (above), Bimini Bay Resort (Bimini), (Costa Rica), Henry Watkins / TIME (Yucatan), Panoramio (Mexico)
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