This is the only fish I ever caught that weighed more than I did.
We were filming a Jackpot Fishing Tournament in Kailua-Kona. It had been slow for 2 days, so the TV crew returned to Honolulu. I stayed one more day hoping to get some photographs. It was about 11:00 AM... not one fish reported caught by the over 200 boats. The press boat I was on decided to head up to "The Grounds", a popular area where currents strike the shallow reef and attract schools of bait fish. The tide was about to change so we hoped there might be some action soon.
As we headed north up the coast the crew decided to put out a lure. It wasn't even all the way out when the marlin hit. A Japanese press guy on the flying bridge started taking pictures of the jumping marlin. I was on the back deck and as I turned toward the cabin to get my camera... the two crew members grabbed me and set me down in the fighting chair. They quickly strapped me into the fighting harness. I was firmly attached to a 80W reel loaded with 80# test line with a jumping marlin on the other end. Thanks to the expert boat handling of the Captain and the professional actions of the two Crew members who leadered and gaffing the fish, I was only suffering for about 20 minutes or so. It seemed a lot longer. Fighting a big fish is hard work.
We boated the marlin and headed into the Kona pier less than a mile away. Already the CB radio was alive with chatter. What the *&%$(#@ was the Press Boat doing fishing. That should have been a fish caught by one of the tournament boats. Wait till I get my hands on those *(%*$##% guys.
We weighed the fish... took pictures... and then I caught the next cab to the airport... and back to Honolulu.
And that, boys and girls, is why to this very day there is a rule in every Hawaii big game fishing tournament...
NO FISHING ON THE PRESS BOAT.
478# Pacific Blue Marlin
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