A couple months ago I had the privilege of going to Venezuela with one of my buddies. As soon as we arrived, I noticed giant propaganda images throughout the airport. I wanted to take some pictures to document my experiences, but the armed guards made me feel a little intimidated. I had heard that it might be a little dangerous, but I found the people of Venezuela to be extremely friendly and accommodating. I would definitely go back for another visit. The gas was only 10 cents per gallon, so a day on the boat was nearly free. I am keeping my fingers crossed for gas to get that cheap in the states!
We lived and slept on the boat during the entire duration of my trip. The waters were rough, which made fishing conditions less than stellar. We still managed to have a good time. My goal was to get some great marlin shots, which was the main reason I went all the way to Venezuela. The South American country has some of the best marlin fishing in the world and I am happy to say Venezuela lived up to its reputation.
Surprisingly, we caught the ever-elusive white marlin long before we saw blue marlins. White marlins are only found in the Atlantic Ocean. You can find them in sub-tropical and
tropical waters from Maine to Argentina, which includes the Gulf of Mexico. You can also find them off the coasts of Spain to South Africa. For some reason, they congregate near the coasts of Venezuela. White marlins are rare because they are a main bycatch for long-liners. I find the pretty disheartening. The average white marlin grows to be about 45 to 60 lbs. I was pretty stoked when we finally caught one and I was able to jump in the water with the amazing creatures. The mates on the boat were perplexed as to why I would actually jump in the water with the marlins – but that’s what I do.
Next on my photography wish list was the blue marlin. After trolling all day, we were finally able to catch a blue marlin the last day of the trip and in last hour of daylight. I had to swim really fast and really hard just to keep up with him. It was really rough. It was the first time in my life I actually felt like I was going to drown. The good news is that I didn’t drown and I got a pretty amazing shot.