Dr. Martin Arostegui is well known for his world-record accomplishments on both conventional and fly tackle. He’s recently shifted gears and is pursuing a Billfish Royal Slam on fly, perhaps one of sport fishing’s most difficult feats. This is Arostegui’s story of the catch.
Many years ago, I started fly-fishing for billfish in Costa Rica, Venezuela, Mexico and South Florida. Over time, I caught a few species of billfish but then changed my focus to world-record fishing for many different species all over the world. I recently decided to retire from my world record quest and needed a new goal. My friends Rufus Wakeman and Roy Cronacher started talking about the IGFA Royal Billfish Slam on fly and this got me thinking that this could be a worthwhile venture.
Last summer, I went to Costa Rica with Jake Jordan and my son Martini, and was able to release a very nice Pacific blue marlin on fly. My next step was to research where to try for the spearfish. I called Capt. Kevin Nakamaru in Kona, Hawaii. He is a great captain with extensive experience fishing for spearfish on fly, and so my wife Roberta and I spent a few days fishing with him on Northern Lights in Kona. The conditions were very bad for the first two days, but on the third day, we had a doubleheader of spearfish behind the teasers. Kevin and his mates Kyle and Greg did a great job of teasing the fish into casting range. I made my cast, the fish switched to the fly and in a split-second, the spearfish was on.
The fight lasted only a few minutes as I worked the fish very carefully to avoid pulling the hooks. Soon, the spearfish was in the boat for a quick photo and release. I am heading to Australia next to try for the black marlin.