Swordfish tops off unique slam

Jooste began the day aboard Eclaire with a simple goal in mind: to catch a swordie on fly...

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Con Jooste chalked up quite a big-game feat February 15-16, becoming perhaps the first angler to catch a sailfish, striped marlin and broadbill swordfish on fly gear in the same 24-hour period.

Fishing out of the Kingfisher operation in Malindi, Kenya, Jooste began the day aboard _Eclaire _with a simple goal in mind: to catch a swordie on fly. That's not so simple, however, as very few of these battlers have ever been taken on the long rod. In fact, only three fish are currently recognized in the fly category of the IGFA record book. All were caught in Kenya.

At about 7:30 p.m. during the overnight trip to the South Mlima, a fish rose in the teasers and Jooste managed a hook-up, a rarity in and of itself. Thirty minutes later, the swordfish, approximately 55 pounds or so, was landed, tagged and released.

At first light, the teasers were put back out for marlin and sailfish, and no sooner had they begun trolling when a stripey rose into the spread. Jooste cast and hooked up, and before long, that fish too was tagged and released.

The crew realized at this point they had a chance to accomplish a rare feat. Quite a few sails had been seen around Malindi, so they pointed the boat in that direction. Just prior to taking off, a black marlin suddenly appeared in the spread. Jooste managed to fire off a cast and promptly hooked the fish. But it shook off after several jumps.

The sailfishing proved tougher than anticipated in Malindi. Just as the crew was about to call it quits, however, a lone sail rose behind the boat. Jooste cast towards the teaser, and the fish ate the fly. After a spirited fight, the sailfish was caught, tagged and released.

While Jooste was not fishing in accordance to IGFA standards, the feat was a rarity and nonetheless impressive.

Photos courtesy Dave Lewis