Catch to feed family for months
‘‘It will try and run anywhere it can so you need to drive the boat around, wind in the slack and keep chasing it’’ Mike Bell
It took Cambridge man Mike Bell exactly one hour to reel in the biggest fish he has ever caught.
At 104 kilograms, the giant striped marlin was an ‘‘unbelievable’’ catch.
Bell caught the huge fish in Kawhia on March 7, two weeks after losing one on the line.
‘‘It’s pretty big for a marlin, it’s not the biggest, they can get over 125kg but they can also be quite small at 80 - 90kg.
‘‘So to get one over 100kg was really cool,’’ he said.
The keen fisherman had been trying to hook a big fish for months, after a friend caught one last year.
He spent about 10 hours on the water every weekend and sometimes weekdays, when the weather was fine.
He said the fish would feed his family for months.
‘‘Half of it is in the freezer and I have given a lot of it away. I divided it up with people on the boat so they got about 20kgs each too,’’ he said.
He only had a 24kg line and so it proved ’’a real challenge’’ to haul the fish in.
‘‘The driver of the boat is as important as the person reeling it in, because you kind of have to chase it.’’
He was wearing a harness and a gimble belt to help.
‘‘You can’t let the fish stop. It will try and run anywhere it can so you need to drive the boat around, wind in the slack and keep chasing it.
‘‘Before we go out we always get excited about what we might catch when really we have no idea, and then when I hooked this one it was absolute carnage.’’
Before the marlin, his biggest catch was a 15kg kingfish, which at the time he thought was big.
‘‘But that size doesn’t really do it justice anymore,’’ he laughed.
‘‘It was a bit hard to believe, even when we got it on the boat, it took a while to sink in.’’
Bell has fished for many years, mainly just from his kayak to catch snapper and kingfish.
Keen Cambridge fisherman Mike Bell and his 104kg marlin that was caught in Kawhia.