Fishing is a sport that attracted Puerto Rico’s Nelson Morales, who owns the 52 Viking, Prime Time PR, at a young age. Today, he’s a dedicated and accomplished billfishermen.
“I began to fish with my father at the age of 5 or 6,” he says.
Morales says he can still remember the first time he caught a fish. The memory of the excitement he felt when that fish started peeling line off his rod is still fresh in his mind and it’s what started his life-long addition to the sport of fishing. By 1991, he began venturing off the north coast of Puerto Rico to angle.
Fast forward nearly two decades and it was in 2009 that Morales decided to begin fishing competitively. A good friend of his, Jose Pasos, introduced him to Capt. Francisco ‘Paco’ Vela and Vela in turn introduced Morales to his future cockpit partner, Rafael ‘Rafo’ Caicedo.
“At that time I had no idea that salt water instead of blood ran through these two men’s veins,” says Morales. “But, it turned out that together we made a tremendous fishing team and one that ever since looks forward to the next moon.”
Why are Morales and his team attracted to blue marlin?
“The sensation that blue marlin fishing creates is so fascinating,” says Morales. “You get so addicted to the feeling that you wish you could go out fishing from the moment you wake up. I love to listen for my captain to scream ‘left short!’ and bring the marlin to me with the teaser 15 to 20 feet off the stern. Then, I throw the bait to the marlin and watch the fish swallow it so aggressively that I get goose bumps all over my body. Then, when I put the drag on the reel, that is it, the action really begins.”
Everyday fishing for blue marlin is unforgettable for Morales. However, one of his best days was when the Prime Time PR team won the Daily on the first day of the USVI Open/Atlantic Blue Marlin or ‘Boy Scout’ Tournament in 2009. Another favorite was the tournament’s last day.
“We were about to start fishing off Anegada and by 8:05 a.m. we had our first bite,” Morales tells. “I didn’t even have time to apply sun lotion and I was fighting a 600-pound blue marlin.”
The next summer, during the June full moon of 2010, Morales and his Prime Time PR crew were out fishing the whole day and almost got skunked.
“We had not seen anything until 5:12 p.m. when we got our first fish,” he explains. “We had barely finished celebrating this fish when we were pitching the second one. Then, as soon as we released this fish, a third came up as soon as the captain put the first bridge teaser in the water. In 42 minutes we released three blue marlin after practically a full day seeing absolutely nothing.”
Summer isn’t the only time Morales has had luck blue marlin fishing. In January, he was fishing south of Vieques and released five marlin for six hook-ups on 20-pound line rigged with ballyhoo. This set a new record for that location.
“Through the entire year I can’t wait for the beginning of the peak blue marlin season in St. Thomas,” says Morales. “It’s very exciting to fish over there since it is common to raise 5 to 6 blue marlin in a good day. The tournament I like best is the Boy Scout in St. Thomas since you’re able to compete face-to-face with the best blue marlin fisherman in the world.”
Morales, who runs a company that acquires, constructs and leases telecommunications sites, also enjoys cruising on weekends with his wife and three children.
“We like to enjoy the beautiful beaches of the Caribbean like on Vieques, Culebra and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands,” he says. “But mainly, I think about the next day of fishing.”