A hulking blue marlin was caught off the coast of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii on Tuesday, weighing in at 1,368 pounds, the biggest caught there in 23 years.
The fish, referred to by ESPN
as the "Shaquille O'Neal of blue marlins," was eight pounds shy of the world record 1,376-pound blue marlin that was caught off Kona in 1982. It is the eighth-largest blue marlin ever caught in Hawaii.
Several photos of the big catch were posted to Facebook by Waiopai Sport Fishing Charters.
"[Guy] Kitaoka was fishing with Capt. Darrell Omori aboard a 21-foot boat, Dayna, in an area where large tuna were teeming," reported PeteThomasOutdoors.com
. "He used a skipjack tuna to bait the monster billfish, and had it alongside his boat after an hour-long fight. Capt. Bomboy Llanes, fishing nearby aboard another boat, helped deliver the massive grander back to the dock."
Jack O'Donnell of SportsGrid.com estimated
the age of the female marlin at 18 to 26 years old. O'Donnell wrote that male blue marlins weighing more than 300 pounds are rare and often live short lives.
"The blue marlin is sport fishing's pièce de résistance," O'Donnell wrote.
"It is the Super Bowl of aquatic megafauna. It is the carrot at the end of the stick. That's because it's elusive, majestic, powerful, unrelenting and can grow to be the size of small submarine. These guys just caught one — the eight largest ever recorded — and the photos they took will make you double take."
The blue marlin has a distinctive look with a pronounced dorsal fin and a long, lethal, spear-shaped upper jaw, according to National Geographic
. The fish spends most of its time in the deep seas of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans.
The Blue Planet Society, a marine conservation group, charged on Twitter that blue marlins like the one captured Tuesday should be off limits to anglers.
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