The big catch! David Levy and team take top prize in marlin tournament
Barbara Ellington, Public Affairs Editor
The just-concluded marlin tournament started off on a rocky footing for the crew aboard the boat Diana, some three miles off the Port Antonio coast, but persistence paid when, on Saturday, they bagged a whopping 510-pounder. The team, which last won in 2010, has taken the top prize for largest marlin in its category this year.
The lucky angler was David Levy, ably assisted by crew members Richard Stewart of Stewart's Automotives; Alec Henderson of Orange Valley Estate; Paul Muschette, custos of Trelawny; George Ward, visiting from Barbados; and Elias Brimmer, a Jamaican resident of Florida; Ray Adams and his son, Travis. Members of the Stewart family were also present for moral support.
Levy, who has been fishing with the Stewarts for several years, told The Gleaner in a telephone interview that it took two hours and 40 minutes to bring in the huge marlin.
"This one put up a real fight, but we were determined. We had caught one last Tuesday but lost it, so we felt a little dejected, but we stuck to the programme and on Saturday it paid off," he said.
And just in time too, as by the end of the fight, only about 30 per cent of the line strength remained.
SUCCESS AS A GIFT
The annual five-day tournament sets aside Wednesday as rest day for competitors but local fishers are allowed to use their canoes to go out and try their luck. Most of the marlins caught by anglers are usually tagged and released, thus boosting conservation efforts in the population. To retain marlin caught, they must be at least 99 inches long or weigh 300 pounds to be considered legal.
Levy added that his team was particularly determined because of their leader, Richard Stewart's, ongoing battle with cancer.
"We wanted to give him this success as a gift before he flew off to Florida for more treatment on Saturday evening. The message is, never give up," said Levy, who learnt the sport from his many mentors and has also taught his dad and two teenage children to be anglers.
The 510-pound marlin was handed over to the Sir Henry Morgan Angling Association, which will sell it and donate the proceeds to charity.