What techniques does Santiago use to catch the marlin? Do we use the same technique now too?

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thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the story of the Old Man and the Sea, Santiago the old fisherman used the hook and harpoon technique to fish for marlins.

The technique entailed attaching the fishing lines to a hook. Baits including a combination of sardines and tuna would then be attached to the hook. The baited hook would then be dropped gently into the water to reach a certain depth. The fisherman would then wait for the marlin to take the bait. The fish would be lured to take the bait by first eating the sardines. The marlin would then take the hooked tuna, and on swallowing, the fisherman would pull on the line to hook the marlin and cause internal injuries. These injuries are expected to kill or tire the marlin in order to easily hoist it out of the water. Due to the excruciating pain caused by the hook, the fish would be forced up and at that point the fisherman would harpoon the marlin.

Santiago employed the same technique and successfully killed the marlin, but due to the sheer size and weight of the fish he decided to harness it to the side of the skiff.

The hook and harpoon technique remains in use today, albeit with some slight variations such as the use of live bait when fishing.

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The Old Man and the Sea

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