I snapped a bunch of photos wishing that I had time to put on a polarizing filter, but I knew that as soon as I left the cockpit, something exciting would happen and I’d miss it. Scarborough was the first to identify the fish as a “hatchet” marlin, aka a roundscale spearfish. I’d never heard of a hatchet marlin and never even seen a spearfish, but I had to agree that this critter didn’t look like any white marlin I’d ever seen and certainly didn’t act like one. Well, curiosity was killing us, and Wise had heard that the way to tell the difference between a white and a hatchet was checking the distance between the anus and the anal fin. That distance on a hatchet marlin is about 5 to 6 inches, while on a white, it’s 2 inches. To settle the discussion, Scarborough grabbed the bill, and he and Wise lifted Stromberg’s prize into the boat for a quick, but very personal, examination. Conclusion? We had just caught a roundscale spearfish. Our total for two days on the water was eight whites, a blue and a hatchet/spearfish critter — sailfish are never around when you really need one.