What a catch! - Massive marlin attracts local and international attention
A huge blue marlin caught off the coast of Port Antonio, Portland, is creating a buzz locally and internationally after news emerged about a local fisherman and his more-than-six-hour battle with the billed fish.
Since the landing of the blue marlin on Sunday, there was widespread speculation that the 30-year-old record for the heaviest landed species would be shattered, as it took more than eight men to actually tie the fish to the limb of a tree.
“I got my first bite at about 9:00a.m. Sunday, but I later lost the fish,” said Desmond Gordon, the fisherman who landed the marlin.
He added, “I get a second bite , and mi lose dat too. When I got the third bite, I was nervous. Mi get three bites, but all a dem get way. But den mi get a fourth bite, and that was when mi say yes a it dis. Dat was about 3:00 p.m. going on to 4:00p.m. I was fighting the fish, but was getting real tired, and dat was when mi call and beg fi help.”
Gordon admitted that he became fearful for his life as the fish tugged and pulled his 24-foot canoe all over the sea. He said his decision to call for backup was not only as a result of wanting to land the marlin but also resulted from him getting exhausted from his ordeal.
“It took wi more than six hours in total to get the marlin inna the boat, and it was a struggle to pull the fish from the water. It was tiring, but wi got the job done. I have been fishing since age 13 , and I am 41 years old now. It is the biggest marlin mi ever see.”
A large crowd gathered at the fishing beach at White River near Norwich in Portland, Sunday night to get a first-hand look at the big fish, which was still flashing its head.
The blue marlin, which weighed-in at 570lbs, is the heaviest catch since 1989, when a blue marlin weighing 592lbs was caught by Mark Myers during the Sir Henry Morgan Blue Marlin Tournament in Port Antonio.
Myers’ record is yet to be broken; however, Sunday’s catch is the closest anyone has ever come to toppling that mark, which is still standing after 30 years.
Since the catch on Sunday, Morgan has been receiving calls of appreciation from organisers of various fishing (angling) tournaments, including organisers of the Superstars of Port Antonio Blue, which accounted for approximately 40 released marlins during a three-day competition in September.
“This is always expected, and it is also well known that Port Antonio attracts some of the largest species of marlins, and this is as a result of the Windward Passage,” commented Robert ‘Bobby’ Stewart, Chairman of the Superstars of Port Antonio Blue Marlin Tournament.
“Sports tourism is growing in Jamaica, and we were able to attract three overseas entries during the tournament in September. Since then, we have been getting calls from many other countries, as anglers have expressed an interest in coming down to Port Antonio for next year’s tournament. But this particular catch is telling us and the rest of the sporting world that large species of fish including marlins, are surfacing off the coast of Port Antonio. This augurs well for sports tourism going forward,” he said.