Some angler’s best fish stories are about the ‘one that got away’. For Gulfport, Florida-based angler, Pate Clements,
his favorite angling tale is about the tuna that turned into blue marlin.
Clements embarked on his sports fishing career thanks to his next door neighbor. “George Lorton invited me to fish in the Bahamas Billfish Championship (BBC) with him on his boat, Therapy,” says Clements. “After joining George in the Bahamas for a few years, I bought a boat and started fishing tournaments on my own boat.”
Aboard his 61-foot Viking Sport Fish, Liquid Gold, he says, “I love catching blue marlin because of their tremendous athlete ability and great fight they put up on light tackle.”
Clements prefers 50 pound line test and pitch baiting.
“There is nothing like hooking a 500- to 600-pound fish with 25-feet of line out. It puts the action right at the transom,” he says.
Clements best day is the catch and release of three blue marlin, each over 500 pounds, on 50-pound test line.
But, his best fish story happened on a trip when he brought Liquid Gold back to Florida from St. Thomas with his captain, Capt. Mark ‘Cool’ Madole and mate. “I hooked a double that we thought had to be tunas. Since we only had the three of us on the boat we decided to lock the drags down and get one of them to the boat quickly and then try to catch to other. After about 45 minutes with one person in the fighting chair and the other standup fighting the first fish jumped right behind the boat. We were shocked to find that both fish were Blue Marlin. It was an amazing fight with only three people on the boat. It gives new meaning to chaos.”
Clements regularly fishes with wife, Susan, as well as friends, both fun fishing and in tournaments. He regularly competes in the BBC, the A.H. Riise BVI Billfish Tournament, and USVI Open/Atlantic Blue Marlin or ‘Boy Scout’ Tournament. Highlights of Clements' tournament fishing include a 2nd place at the 2006 BBC Harbour Island Leg, 2nd Place at the 2007 BBC Central Abaco Leg, and 3rd place at the 2006 A.H. Riise BVI Billfish Tournament.
What’s Clements’ favorite? “Any tournament on or around the North Drop,” he says. “It can be the best Blue Marlin fishing in the world!”
Through the year, Clements travels to fishes in west Florida, as well as the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, the Bahamas and Mexico. His plans for 2009 call for fishing Isla Mujeres in Mexico from February through May and then St. Thomas from June through October.
When he’s not fishing, Clements is busy running a construction, demolition and recycling business in Florida and fuel operation in Pennsylvania.”
In the future, says Clements, “I hope that the sport fishing industry will continue to progress with the conservation of the Blue Marlin and other sport fish. It is going to be more and more important as the world’s fishery continues to get pressure from the commercial fishing industry.”