All of us, who have spent any amount of time on the water, have seen or at least heard some awesome fishing stories. One of the features we will now add to this blogsite is to utilize it in sharing some of our stories with you and to provide a forum for you to share your stories with us and the many readers of this blogsite.
My best fishing story is one that I was lucky enough to be a part of. It took place in Panama in 2009 when Guy swam down with my line and connected it to an already hooked up 1200 plus pound black marlin so we could get the fish tagged with a satellite tag. To read about this “Ultimate Fish Story” click here , and to see it on video click here. While this adventure with Guy will likely remain my most memorable fishing story, prior to this amazing event, the best fishing story I had ever heard was told to me by my father.
The story was about longtime family friend, Bobby Tidwell, catching his first marlin in Cabo San Lucas Mexico in 1956. Herb Bell of Packard Bell fame, owned the 100 foot Five Bells, named after the five Bell brothers, including the boat’s captain/ brother, Willard. As one of the very first boats to fish the waters of Cabo, the Five Bells played an important role in discovering this fishing paradise. Herb would invite friends to join him on fishing trips to waters of the East Cape and Cabo San Lucas. He needed talent on the boat to help ensure fishing success for his friends, and invited my dad Milt Shedd to join him in that role. During the trip to Cabo in 1956, Bobby Tidwell joined the group. An accomplished diver and expert angler, Bobby had yet to catch a marlin and was determined to do so. While trolling, Bobby hooked up to a striped marlin and when a second rod went off, dad grabbed the rod thinking they had a double. As both lines quickly came together, dad realized it was not a double hookup, but that one hungry marlin had eaten both baits. With the Five Bells now stopped, the fish ran towards the bow. Both dad and Bobby followed the fish and, when about the middle of the boat, the fish turned and ran directly under the boat and came up jumping on the other side.
Knowing there was no way to get to the bow to clear the line to the other side, dad tightened down the drag to break the fish off. To his amazement, he turned to Bobby just as he was diving overboard shouting “I am going to catch this fish.” Bobby is one of the most determined men I have ever known, but this was crazy. He dove overboard with rod and reel in hand, swam down to clear the considerable draft of the large boat and came up on the other side. Luckily, the marlin did not sound and was jumping toward the horizon. Bobby was being pulled behind the marlin, much like a water skier as the ski boat slowly moves away before accelerating to pop the skier out of the water. The other guys on deck looked down in amazement as Bobby yelled back to launch the skiff, which dad was already in the process of doing. The skiff was launched and Bobby Tidwell caught his first marlin. When asked later why he did it, Bobby simply replied “It was the only thing I could do to make sure I caught that fish.”
Bobby Tidwell passed away last year. While many people in Orange County, CA will remember him as the guy who gave the Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) $30 million dollars in his will, I will remember him for the amazing fishing story witnessed and told to me by my dad when I was just a young kid.
If you have an unusual fishing story send it to me, Bill Shedd, at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can share it here on this blogsite for others to enjoy.
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