I thought my line was “sangkut” (Malay word for snagged on some underwater debris or structure).
Then it started to move and gather speed.
Fish on! “It’s a marlin!” Shouted our boatman. I couldn’t
believe my ears. What? Marlin? We have never seen one let alone caught any since we started fishing in these waters. But the boatman was right. The fish jumped up in close distance within our full view. It’s truly a Blue Marlin! Confirmed and double confirmed.
The line was spooling out fast. My fishing buddy started pouring water on my sizzling reel. I was holding on to my bending fishing rod for dear life.
Everyone on board the boat thought I was going to get spooled out. I was pumping in my line as much as I could. But for every three turns I made, the fish took out more lines.
I fought the fish for twenty minutes. My buddies could see I was pretty exhausted. We took turns to reel in the fish. Passing the rod gingerly making sure the line was tight. As it got closer to the boat, it made a desperate attempt to throw off the hook. It leapt up again in full view. It was a monster. We reckoned it must be at least 40kg.
When it got closer to the boat, it made successive jumps. Not twice. Not thrice. But seven times. We were counting numbers like kindergarten children.
Then the unthinkable happened. The line burst at the seventh count. And my fishing friend who took the last turn reeled in a slack line with utter saddest echoed by all.
It was Marlin 1 and Fishermen 0.
Losing that blue Marlin has left us feeling blue. We consoled ourselves by saying we were going to let it go anyway. But deep within we felt it would be good to have a photo with that rare beauty. That day we suffered a Blue Marlin Blues.
As we approach the Passion Week, I am reminded once again how blue the disciples must have felt losing not a Marlin but their Master on that Good Friday. They had followed Jesus for three years. Heard all his teachings, seen all his miraculous and tutored under his watchful eye. And to finally lose their beloved Master on the cross was a huge blow to their faith, hope and future. They were feeling blue to a T. Then came the joy of Easter. Jesus is alive! He lives! He showed himself to them.
“On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord” (John 20:19-20).
That blue Friday is now a Good Friday. God did something wonderful for all people by Jesus’ death and resurrection that every day henceforth no longer be blue but good.