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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I suppose the first question for a number of you will be what’s a Fantasy Slam, or for that matter any of the other fishing ‘Slams’?

There’re, in Sportfishing parlance, a Grand and a Super Grand as well. And they represent an angler, or a boat, taking specimens of three (Grand), four (Super Grand) or five (Fantasy) billfish species in a single day. The ‘common’ species are the Blue Marlin, Sailfish and Broadbill Swordfish with, in the Atlantic, White Marlin and two Spearfish – Longbill or Mediterranean – and in the Indo/Pacific the Shortbill Spearfish and Black & Striped Marlin to aim for.

Those terms as well seem now to be applied to Tuna species and certain groupings of inshore species – alas none for our North East Atlantic species.

So ‘Grand Slams’? Although any number of our Club members have recorded Grand Slams – including one where Denis Froud caught a Longbill Spearfish, a White and a ‘grander’ (1000lb plus) Blue Marlin from Ascension Island (he also had an abortive strike from a Sailfish that day) - it’s something I’m still trying for. Two species is the best I’ve managed.

But as you get to Super Grands and Fantasies it patently gets much, much harder. In fact when you get to Fantasies you can count them collectively, globally, either individual or boat ones on the fingers of one hand. And the two places that they have been recorded are Kenya and Venezuela.

The latest Fantasy – a boat one – was recorded off the Venezuelan coast on 3rd May 2008 aboard the 65 foot Rybovich, Coral C, skippered by Erik Johanson; the anglers being, the boat owner, Chris Berian and his friend Russ Wright.

First they released a ‘double header’ – two fish hooked up at once – of Sailfish, followed by another ‘double header’ – a Spearfish and a Blue Marlin. That gave them their Grand Slam.

They then moved location and hooked up two White Marlin (another double header), releasing one. Now they had recorded their Super Grand Slam.

So they then immediately focused on fishing for a Swordfish, somewhat more specialised. Rather than surface trolling, using rocks purloined from another boat as weights, they started deep dropping. There were no bites at the first mark. They moved half a mile and, after 30 minutes, got their Broadbill, a 156 pounder.
 

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Hmmm ... this Fantasy Slam sounds a too much like hard work to me, Dave. I think you'd find it much easier if you included those hard-fighting but underrated members of the billfish clan: needlefish and ballyhoo. Piece of cake!
 

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Mark Allen fishing on his beautiful sfort fisher SIMBA has also managed the Fantasy Billfish Slam here in Kenya. Not only did he catch Sailfish (many), Blue, Black and Striped Marlin and a Broadbill Swordfish whilst fishing out of Watamu, Kenya but he did it all on ONE lure!!!

What type/make/colour/size? Well he's not telling and the lure has been removed from Simba and is locked away in his safe!

Anglers fishing in Kenya have the chance (albeit very remote) of catching SIX billfish (not counting the Ballyhoo, Garfish & Needle fish) and visiting South African angler Morne Basson caught five billfish whilst fishing on Shuwari, at the Pemba Channel Fishing Club at Shimoni, missing out on the Broadbill due to heavy seas and a slight tummy-bug! His unusual catch was a Shortbill Spearfish which is just one of a dozen ever caught in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean off the Kenyan coast. (see post under Africa for more details)

[email protected]
 

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Keep you going in swordfish steaks for a while that one would, what was the weight on it ?? 180 - 220 ???
 

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Dave,

The fact you've only managed two in one day despite fishing for so long and in so many parts of the world shows how much of an achievement it is to get a grand slam, let alone a super grand slam or better. Which two were they? I've been lucky enough to have two different billfish species on a number of occasions (black marlin and sailfish in Phuket, where there is no third billfish species, as well as blue + white, blue + spear and spear + white on different occasions in Madeira) but was never able to complete the slam. I haven't heard of one caught from Madeira in many years, maybe next year!

Best regards

P.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Dave,

The fact you've only managed two in one day despite fishing for so long and in so many parts of the world shows how much of an achievement it is to get a grand slam, let alone a super grand slam or better. Which two were they? .....
Best regards

P.
Hi Dustin
Yes they are much more difficult that people realise.

I've had a Black & Sails and a Blue & Sails from Pinas Bay, Panama and a two Blues and a White from the Azores with that same evening Dick Clack getting the first sportfished Broadbill from Faial. I did have an earlier bite from one but that didn't connect. And what the crew considered was a really big Broadbill later on - they even got out the two back banded gaffs - turned out to be a ......... nasty Blue Shark that couldn't bite through the mono trace. At least everyone had a laugh at my expense!

So it's always been twos unfortunately. I do recall another occasion, the second time I fished Isla Coiba, when we'd the previous day run 70 miles to fish a bank off the 'Tuna coast'. We ran out to the 500 fathom curve and almost immediately Clive Taylor got a 400lb Black on 30, and then we were 'plagued' by loads of 100lb plus Sails on lures, including several double headers. I stopped fishing hoping Clive would get his Grand Slam and although we stayed out deep, out from Isla Jicharon, all we could catch were more Sails and Dorado. No Blues showed unfortunately.

So you're absolutely right, it's no where easy. Although if I was truly desperate to get one I'd focus on Kenya or Venezuela.
 

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grand slam ain't easy compared to the 70s. I wander why! But if I had a choice of fishing destination I'd chose somewhere less exploited instead. Probably the Seychelles. In ancient time people believed that somewhere on earth existed a perfect land, they called that place "earthly paradise" The dozen of atolls that surrounds the seychelles with its massive fish stock compared to other destination perfectly fits in that description.
 

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So what was the one Denis got couple of years back, Royal Slam???

He nicked over to Mexico or somewhere for a long weekend for the striped marlin to finish the slam ????????



Mere humble member of the SCBI

http://www.scbi.org.uk
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So what was the one Denis got couple of years back, Royal Slam???

He nicked over to Mexico or somewhere for a long weekend for the striped marlin to finish the slam ????????



Mere humble member of the SCBI

http://www.scbi.org.uk
Yes that was a Royal Slam Stan. All nine IGFA species - Black Marlin, Atlantic & Pacific Blue, Striped Marlin, White Marlin, Atlantic and Pacific Sailfish, Swordfish and Spearfish. The three recognised species of Spearfish - Short & Longbill and Mediterranean - are relatively rare, so they're happy to accept just one for their 'Club'.

In addition to Denis Terry Smith and Jaap Tuit from the Club have also achieved all nine. And when you think that's out of a group of less than 50 worldwide that's not bad. (The only other Brit I can additionally recall who's in the Club is Zyg Gregorek.)

Of course Denis got his Spearfish and White Marlin from Ascension Island when he also got a 1000lb plus Blue Marlin. A 'Grander' Slam? He also lost a Sailfish that day. Such is Ascension!

And of course Denis is only one Shark, a Hammerhead, away from his Shark Royal Slam - all 9 species.

I've attached Jaap's certificate. You can see just how long he was after it!
 

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