Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
During the shooting of the latest segment of The Heliconia Press’ much-anticipated kayak fishing adventure film ExOfficio presents Kayak Fishing: Game On a group of three kayak anglers that included Alaskan Howard McKim, Canadian Ken Whiting, and Californian Matt Moyer, hooked up with world-renowned, big game kayak angler Jim Sammons in the East Cape of Baja, Mexico, with the goal of catching what is widely considered the greatest game fish in the world–the marlin.
The team was led by Jim Sammons’ the star of the Kayak Fishing: Game On movie, and the first kayak angler to ever land a marlin from a kayak. His experience paid off as after only a couple of hours on the water, Howard McKim’s reel started screaming as he hooked up with a 300-pound blue marlin and was taken for the ride of his life.
The arm-wrenching five-hour battle saw Howard towed 11 miles into the Sea of Cortez. The relentless pulling was broken up only by moments of high anxiety as the marlin charged to the surface and exploded out of the water in a series of dynamic jumps.
“When I first hooked up, I knew I had a nice fish,” explains Howard McKim, “but I think my jaw actually hit my knees when I saw the 300-pound blue erupt from the water in front of my kayak like a missile shot from below.”
To make the situation even more interesting, fellow kayak angler Matt Moyer hooked up with his own 130-pound striped marlin a few minutes later. The double marlin hook-up was the first of its kind and required quick action by the supporting crew. “Landing a marlin safely form a kayak isn’t a one-person job,” explains Jim Sammons. “We needed to land and release Matt’s marlin as quickly as possible so that we could continue to support Howard.”
After four hours of fighting that covered 10 miles and included upwards of 30 jumps, the winds began to pick up and the seas started to get rough. Time was running out, which forced Howard to pressure the fish more than he wanted to with the 20-pound-test line that he was on. He fought the marlin to the surface only a boat length away from his kayak. With the fight reaching its end, the marlin made one last run and broke the line. “After fighting that fish for five hours in the 95-degree weather, part of me was devastated to see the line break,” said an exhausted Howard later that night, “but in the end, it was an experience of a lifetime and I have absolutely no regrets.”
About The Heliconia Press
Since World Champion Ken Whiting founded the company in 1998, The Heliconia Press has been producing best-selling and award-winning instructional books and videos about kayaking and other outdoor pursuits. For more information about all of Heliconia’s products, please visit www.helipress.com.
About ExOfficio presents Kayak Fishing: Game On
ExOfficio presents Kayak Fishing: Game On is an epic, new, fishing movie that follows renowned big-game kayak angler Jim Sammons around North America on the kayak fishing adventure of a lifetime. Fights with tarpon in Florida, halibut and king salmon in Alaska, tuna and marlin in Baja, stripers in Chesapeake Bay, and muskie in Canada are just some of what you can expect to see in this exciting new film by The Heliconia Press. The movie features action and adventure providing a unique glimpse into the lifestyles of some of the most dedicated kayak anglers in the world. Coming Spring of 2009