Dr. Guy Harvey recently placed a Pop-Up Satellite Archival Tag (PSAT) in a blue marlin by diving in the water with scuba gear, and placing the PSAT in the hooked fish as it swam 50 feet underwater. This was an impromptu move by Guy in an effort to tag the fish before it could escape or be fatigued on the light tackle on which it was being fought. When the fish was close to the boat, Guy quickly donned his scuba equipment and dove in fully clothed with tag stick and PSAT in hand!
This was similar to the episode back in January of 2005 in Panama, where Guy was able to dive in and attach a second leader to the swivel of the estimated 1200lb female black marlin being fought by Neil Patrick and me. This allowed us to leader the fish quickly and place a PSAT in the huge black. The photos and video of this monster marlin were later seen by millions on Discovery, National Geographic, You Tube and in every major saltwater magazine and website around the world. She was tracked by PSAT for 8 weeks as she traveled over 1200 miles in her journey out into the Pacific and back to the tagging location just south of Tropic Star Lodge in Pinas Bay, Panama
The estimated 175lb blue marlin in the photos below was hooked while fishing off the 12-Mile Bank in Grand Cayman back in April of 2011. The fish bit a tuna chunk fished on 80lb leader with a light-wire size 7/0 circle hook. Guy was afraid the leader would break or the hook would straighten if they tried to leader the fish in close for the shot with the PSAT. Rather than risk losing the opportunity to place one of the valuable PSATs in the blue marlin, Guy thought the best tag placement could be made with the marlin still swimming on the leader. This would also prevent the marlin from possibly sustaining an injury while being leadered alongside the boat. The marlin was still very active, and was rapidly swimming 40 feet below the surface after being fought on 80lb tackle for 50 minutes by angler Alex Harvey. Remarkably, Guy was able to swim far enough and fast enough to catch up with the still very-alive blue marlin, and perfectly place the PSAT in the dorsal area of the fish.
Well known film maker George Schellenger was aboard with his underwater camera gear and took these phenomenal photos of Guy tagging the blue with the PSAT. This may be the only time a hooked marlin has ever been PSAT tagged by a diver while still swimming on the line!
This is a classic example of Dr. Guy Harvey’s intense desire to do all he can to place these PSATs in billfish so that information can be gathered at a later date for the benefit of billfish research. To date, Guy has placed 60 of the $4000 PSATs in pelagic gamefish, in cooperation with the Pfleger Institute of Environmental Research (PIER) in Oceanside, CA and other research institutions such as The Billfish Foundation, The Offield Center, Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) and others .Designed for use in learning more about the movements of pelagic gamefish in the world’s oceans, the PSAT’s sophisticated transmitter records data on depth, water temperature and location. Following a programmed length of time, the tag pops to the surface and uploads the data to a satellite, and then down to the scientists at PIER.
- Blue Marlin Fishing After Filming Grouper Documentary- Part II
- Blue Marlin Fishing After Filming Grouper Documentary- Part I
- Guy Harvey’s Marlin a Month | September
- Guy Harvey Research Institute Tracks Blue Marlin
- San Juan IGFA Great Marlin Race: All Tags Report and a Record is Broken