What a catch! Portland fishermen hook 900lb sunfish
Gareth Davis Sr, Gleaner Writer
After fighting a huge fish for more than one and a half hour, two Portland fishermen landed the catch of their lives and brought ashore a huge sunfish, which is probably unknown to Jamaican waters.
The fish, which is without scales, was caught off the coast of Boston Bay in the parish shortly after 10 Sunday morning.
The fishermen said the sunfish weighed approximately 900lb.
"It was a difficult fight," commented Desmond Phillips, one of the fishermen.
"It was difficult to bring the fish to the surface, and even more challenging to get the monster into the boat. When I realised what it was that we had caught, I said to my partner, Michael Grant, who is the boat captain, maybe we should release it," Phillips added.
He told The Gleaner that Grant insisted they should take their catch to shore.
"At first, I thought it was an alien and I was somewhat frightened."
Phillips, who has been fishing for the better part of 10 years, pointed out that after they were unsuccessful in getting the fish into the boat, after more than an hour, they decided to tie the fish to the vessel and tow it to shore.
He said that proved to be even more challenging as the boat was slowed down by the weight of the fish.
"We decided then that if we were going to take the fish to shore, it had to come onboard," Phillips continued.
"And after a lengthy period, and with water flooding into the boat, we finally brought it into the boat and set sail for Bryans Bay," he said.
As news spread about the so called 'alien fish', dozens of persons, including motorists and other passers-by, converged along the beach at Bryans Bay to view the large fish.
Meanwhile, André Kong, chief executive officer of the Fisheries Division in the agriculture ministry, told The Gleaner that the sunfish is not a threat to Jamaica's fish stock.
He said they normally eat things like jellyfish and invertebrates.
"There is no need to fear it," Kong said.
He also told The Gleaner that sunfish can weigh as much as 5,000 pounds, but added that "they are very docile, you can dive with them".
"The difficulty is them jumping in the air and landing in boats," Kong said.