A Georgia couple celebrated a massive catch on their “bucket list” trip to Hawaii, photos show.
The deep-sea anglers didn’t get a bite for the first three hours of their boat ride — then their luck took a turn. After the hit, Courtney Yonce said her husband, Thomas, took control behind the rod.
“It’s probably best he did, as this monster would have pulled me in,” the wife told McClatchy News in a Facebook message. “He fought him for 50 minutes before we had him at the boat.”
Pictures from June 7 show the blue marlin on the other end of the line tipped the scales at 870 pounds and measured 14 feet from end to end. Their boat captain hadn’t had a catch that big in more than five years, Courtney Yonce wrote in an online post.
“Many people fish all their lives and never catch something half this size so we truly feel we won the marlin lottery,” Yonce said.
The couple had success after their long-awaited vacation to Hawaii. Yonce said she and her husband have a passion for fishing but kept postponing their out-of-state trip due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We regularly deep sea fish out of Florida and have caught many nice-sized fish down there but wanted the chance at a big boy,” said Yonce, who lives near Augusta, Georgia.
Their dream came true when the couple took their family to Honolulu, Hawaii. From there, they flew to Kailua-Kona, where Yonce said they got on a charter boat and set out on the water.
Blue marlins can stretch to more than 12 feet and weigh as much as 2,000 pounds. The fish live in “tropical and subtropical waters,” including in the Pacific Ocean, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Yonce said the massive fish her husband reeled in died by the time it got on their boat.
“We were only planning to catch and release but due to him being gone, we kept him,” she said.
The fish was processed to feed people in need, and the couple has been in touch with a taxidermist.
“Yes it’s going on the wall in the living room,” Yonce wrote on Facebook.
Kona Charter Desk, a company seen in a photo recording the fish’s measurements, didn’t immediately respond to McClatchy News’ request for additional information about the catch on June 15.