Gareth Davis, Gleaner Writer
PORT ANTONIO, Portland:
ONE BILLED fish was landed on the first day of the 49th Port Antonio Blue Marlin Tournament at the old marina, which also saw nine marlins tagged and released.
The lone blue marlin was landed by anglers aboard the boat Tropical Lagoon, shortly before 5 p.m.
According to one of the anglers, Colin 'Shaka Fame' Bell, who landed his first Blue Marlin, the experience is a memorable one.
"I felt the bite some minutes to 3 p.m. Monday," said Bell.
He added: "It was a hard fight, which lasted for approximately two hours, and shortly after we managed to float the fish, which was by then somewhat exhausted, and brought it into the boat. I felt excited although we too were tired from the long battle."
And despite landing the first marlin, no points were awarded to the crew, as the marlin weighed in at 213lb, way below the prescribed weight of 314lb and less than the 99 inches in length.
Under the tag-and-release system, only marlins measuring 99 inches or eight feet three inches and weighing approximately 343lb can be landed legally.
Marlins measuring less than the prescribed length, must be tagged and released. Additionally, no penalty is awarded if a marlin weighs in above 200lb, but no points will be awarded to that landed marlin unless it measures in at 99 inches.
A total of 38 boats and 186 anglers participated in last year's tournament, which saw a total of 17 marlins tagged and released during the four-day competition. The boat Daddy's Dream emerged as the winner of the 2011 tournament, which landed two marlins.
Day three of the Blue Marlin tournament was postponed because of Hurricane Sandy. Activities are expected to resume on Saturday.