An epic 6 and 3 quarter hour battle with a truly monstrous fish has left the 11 man crew of the Whakatane charter vessel Diveworks exhausted last night. Hooked near Lazens reef, White island, the crew were jigging for the areas renown Kingfish, 2 had already been landed and another was being fought when the giant Marlin believed to be a Blue or a Black struck one of the jigs, the rod buckled and the next thing you know a huge marlin was leaping out of the water right behind us says the boats skipper Phil van Dusschoten.
As long as my Mazda van and with a body like a horse he say's the fight continued with the 50 lb jigging rod bent right down to the handle and beyond continuously. The fish took us 15 miles further out to sea beyond White Island.
At one stage it took us into the Volkner Rocks Marine reserve but we logged in with the Coastguard that this was happening and another Charter boat was tracking us with radar prior to being dragged in there by the fish, so that was not a problem says Mr. van Dusschoten.
The crew without the aid of harnesses all took turns on the fish until they were exhausted and would then pass the rod on to the next. Fighting the fish directly under the boat on a short rod with braided line is hard work says Mr. van Dusschoten, it never got more than a hundred meters away from us unless it really charged off with spectacular displays of jumping, I cant believe the line held for so long.
By 7.00 pm with the huge fish just under the boat nearly ready to be secured with the gaff, the rod snapped, our hearts all sank, we continued to put pressure on the fish which was just out of reach but without the shock absorption of the rod and with maximum drag the braid line parted and we all saw its huge lit up body slowly glide back down into the depths.
The charter boats crew included American and Scottish tourists some of whom have never caught anything larger than a trout.
The Whakatane Sport fishing club Ladies tournament is on this weekend and all looks good for it, we have won it before with the local ladies record Black Marlin says Mr. van Dusschoten but we are already fully booked for inshore fishing trips so we will just have to sit an gaze offshore wondering what might have been.