Mon­strous catch tips the scales

Daily Mercury - - NEWS WELCOME - Luke Mor­timer luke.mor­timer@dai­ly­mer­cury.com.au

A WHIT­SUN­DAYS man has landed a spec­tac­u­lar fish weigh­ing 360 kilo­grams while on a sport fish­ing ex­pe­di­tion – and it’s still smaller than the big­gest black mar­lin caught on his out­ing off the coast of Cairns.

Sam Lacy from Air­lie Beach reeled in the 4m long fish on Tues­day while aboard the 13.4 me­tre (44-foot) Sea Fever Sports­fish­ing char­ter boat, af­ter a stren­u­ous fight stretch­ing an hour and a half.

The ex­pe­ri­ence was like “fight­ing with a freight train”, the 34-year-old said.

“It was bloody ex­tra­or­di­nary. The power of those fish is just un­be­liev­able. It just gets the heart pump­ing.”

“I have so much re­spect for these fish. I could’ve nearly fit in its mouth. It’s in­cred­i­ble.

“We do it this time each year, me and three mates. This is our fifth time out. It’s what dreams are made of. I dreamt of catch­ing gi­ant black mar­lin as a kid and now I’m out here do­ing it.”

The largest mar­lin caught on the day, how­ever, was a 408kg (900lb) fish, along­side a num­ber of smaller catches.

Ash­ley Matthews (pic­tured, in­set), the skip­per and owner of Sea Fever, said Mr Lacy couldn’t wipe the grin off his face, and is try­ing for a sim­i­lar catch be­fore his five day trip wraps up on Satur­day.

While Sea Fever pas­sen­gers usu­ally catch, pho­to­graph and re­lease the fish with lit­tle trou­ble, this par­tic­u­lar spec­i­men sadly died in the fight, to the dis­ap­point­ment of all on-board.

In hon­our of the mar­lin, Mr Lacy plans to use its body to make a mould, which will be kept for pos­ter­ity (and no doubt brag­ging rights).

“I don’t think we’ll get a mould of the whole thing be­cause it prob­a­bly wouldn’t fit in the house,” Mr Lacy laughed.

Mr Matthews re­ported North Queens­land is one of the best spots in the world to hook black mar­lin – one of the fastest fish in the world – due to spawn­ing grounds off the Cairns coast.

The largest mar­lin Mr Matthews has seen reeled in weighed more than half a tonne (544kg, or 1200lb).

“To fool a big mar­lin into com­ing up and eat­ing one of those (span­ish mack­erel), it re­ally doesn’t get any bet­ter,” the 43-year-old said.

Black mar­lin can be found through­out trop­i­cal Indo-Pa­cific waters.

MAM­MOTH MAR­LIN: Sam Lacy caught the 360kg fish off the Cairns coast.

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