It was now 11 A.M. "You guys feel like trying for a marlin?" asked Axel Valdez, owner of Buena Vista Beach Resort. Though it was hard for me to leave the roosters, we agreed and ran another three miles offshore to drop a trolling pattern of chuggers, Ilanders and a shotgun mackerel bait. Within a halfhour, the shotgun rod went off, sending the Penn 12 VS screaming, and I jumped to grab the rod from the bridge. Fifteen minutes later, an electric, flashing striped marlin of 125 pounds glided along portside for a clean release. "So this is how it is, Axel? Snapper, then roosters, then marlin, in only a five-mile range?" I asked. "Yes, but we haven't seen the big marlin yet. Let's go find them," he replied. Word had spread that a full commercial tuna pen was being transported slowly via tow boat up the coast. It was a promising setup for jigging. Once we found the pen, we dropped flutter jigs around the edges and found a steady stream of little tunny, skipjack and miniature wahoo — with enough tunny for us to lay in some great baits to tempt large blue marlin. A short run later, we were 15 miles off the Baja coast, with a simple W-pattern trolling spread of bridled tunny and various chuggers running behind, when a bill broke the spread, slapping the surface a hundred yards back and snapping the shotgun line. Tramontina jumped in the seat, bent over and wound furiously. The sweat poured off his forehead for an hour before an estimated 350-pound blue marlin came alongside for the release. Two marlin releases before noon wasn't a bad tally at all, but adding a sailfish and even more hits from striped marlin to the bottom line made for an awesome afternoon.