Recognize this guy? That’s Capt. Ray Rosher of South Florida’s famed Miss Britt Charters – and that’s an estimated 800-pound Bimini bluefin tuna he’s wrangling.
Ray wired the monster for angler Roy Merritt Jr. last June during a trip commissioned by sunglass manufacturer Costa for a documentary video that’s tentatively scheduled to be released in May.
There was no guarantee that any bluefin would be encountered during the trip -- after all, the days of plentiful fish swimming through Tuna Alley are long gone. But the crew managed to catch and release this truly large fish and document it all on film.
“It was the highlight of my life,” Ray told me recently. “When Al Perkinson (Costa’s marketing chief) told me what he wanted to do, I said you’ve got to get the Merritt family and Capt. Bill Harrison involved.”
And so, that’s precisely what Costa did, gathering together three generations of Merritt family (Allen, Roy Sr. and Roy Jr.), along with Harrison, which made the trip meaningful in more ways than one to Rosher.
“I started working for Bill when I was 17,” he says. “He’s been an incredible mentor in my career. He’s fished the world and he’s seen it all, yet you’d never know it because he’s very quiet and humble. To fish with all these guys and see the passing of the torch to Roy Jr. was amazing -- it was his first bluefin ever. I’m 50 now, and I didn’t know if I’d ever get that opportunity again, so when Al asked me what I wanted to do on this trip, I said I just wanted to be the mate -- that’s it and that’s all! It was just an honor to be included and I'm so thankful to Costa.”
Quite a meaningful comment from a man who’s been generally considered the top skipper in south Florida for the last decade or more. Keep an eye out for this video later in the year – it oughta be a real gem.