A group of amateur fishermen landed the catch of a lifetime, a 500-pound Pacific blue marlin in waters a marlin hasn’t ben seen in nearly a generation.
The 500-Pound Blue Marlin may be among the biggest of its kind ever caught in the South China Sea, reported the South China Post
. The fish was hauled in about 75 miles south of Hong Kong.
Author and billfish expert Dr. Julian Pepperell told the Morning Post that the catch was especially unusual because the fish was swimming in waters outside its favored habitat. Kim Stuart of the Mandarin Sports Fishing Club told the Morning Post that he was shocked over the site of the catch.
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“It’s extremely rare,” he told the Morning Post. “To be this far north is quite a way out of its normal range.”
Pepperell called the Pacific blue marlin “phenomenally powerful” and willing to put up “incredible fights.”
“On a number of occasion, they will die fighting all the way through,” Pepperell told the Morning Post.
That’s what happened Sunday. The fishermen aboard the boat Warbird, described as a group of Hong Kong-based hedge fund traders, had battled with the fish for more than three hours over an area covering about seven miles when it finally lay dying about 30 feet under the boat.
“The line was worn and we couldn’t get her to the surface as we were sure it would snap,” fisherman Brad Ainslie wrote in an email that was sent to GrindTV Outdoor
. “If we waited much longer, we knew the sharks would be on her soon.”
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So the vessel’s captain, David Tuthill, “decided to try something that I have never seen on the open water or have ever heard of anyone doing before,” read the email. “He threw on a mask, snorkel and fins, grabbed a gaff and dove down to the fish and dragged the beast to the service.”
The record catch for a Pacific blue marlin was set in 1982 off Hawaii. It weighed more than 1,372 pounds.
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