NO­TABLE CATCHES

Marlin - - CONTENTS - BY SAM WHITE

Gray In­gram and Ron­nie Fields reach an in­cred­i­ble mile­stone

If boats could talk, think of the sto­ries they could tell. Imag­ine lis­ten­ing to Gray In­gram’s 63-foot Ricky Scar­bor­ough Big Oh, which re­cently tal­lied her 1,500th blue mar­lin on March 21, 2017, while fish­ing out of Los Sueños, Costa Rica.

Af­ter a three-year build, Big Oh launched from the Scar­bor­ough yard in North Carolina in sum­mer 2007 and headed straight to the fertile waters of Venezuela with Capt. Ron­nie Fields at the helm, where the re­lease num­bers started ring­ing like an over­ac­tive cash reg­is­ter. In­gram and Fields then headed for St. Thomas the fol­low­ing sum­mer, and the blues con­tin­ued to crash the spread. They quickly passed 200 blue mar­lin re­leases be­fore tran­sit­ing the Panama Canal and head­ing for the Pa­cific Ocean, where Big Oh racked up re­leases in Panama, Costa Rica and Gu­atemala. A stint in Cape Verde from 2013 through 2015 pro­duced the ma­jor­ity of their fish, though, with the team tal­ly­ing more than 900 blue mar­lin in three short sea­sons, in­clud­ing In­gram’s 1,254-pounder. He re­leased his 1,000th per­sonal blue mar­lin off Cape Verde near the end of the 2015 sea­son.

“Prob­a­bly 98 per­cent of our mar­lin are caught on bait-and-switch,” In­gram says. “I love to see the bite, and I’m not a big fan of pulling lures. If I can’t see the bite, I don’t want to crank them in.” Big Oh is cur­rently based in Los Sueños, Costa Rica, where her tally of mar­lin and sail­fish con­tin­ues to climb.

Gray In­gram (left) and Capt. Ron­nie Fields cel­e­brate Big Oh’s mile­stone.

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