Team Sea Hunter fished the 24th Annual Treasure Cay Billfish Tournament on our 35 ft Sea Hunter. Team members were Captain Ralph Montalvo and Chris Alvarez of Sea Hunter Boats, and Nicholas Montalvo, Chino Vidal, and George Brehm. After a strong 2nd place finish in 2006 we decided to target the big fish in 2007. We were armed with six 80 Penn Internationals, 3 flying gaffs, 2 block and tackle pulleys, and 5 fisherman on our 35 Sea Hunter.
At 11:59 AM on Thursday we had a Blue Marlin come up and roll on our left short, and took its first run of about 300 yards at 25 pounds of drag. Once the spread was cleared we began to gain some line back on the spool. We chased the fish from the bow of the boat for about 30 minutes before we reached the leader for the first time. Upon first sight Ralph began to yell "It's a big one, this fish is coming in the boat". We then realized that it had no bill on her, she must have lost the bill when I was much younger. The bill was grown over and was healed.
We had the fish on the leader 3 different times before we were able to put a flying gaff in the fish. The first flying gaff was towards the tail and the fish went ballistic. We were able to put 2 more flying gaffs in the fish's shoulders to finally subdue the fish. We added a tail rope and a gill rope to solidify our catch.
Once we all caught our breath and regrouped we pulled out the block and tackle, and pulled her over the side and onto the deck. Once the fish hit the deck we all cheered and gave high fives all around, it was now 1:40 PM. We were totally beat mentally and emotionally after the fight. We made the call to head in to the weigh station early to weigh the fish before she loses any weight.
Once at the weigh station we hoisted her onto the scale, and waited for the official weight.
She weighed 584 lbs and measured 117 1/2 inches and had a 65 inch girth.
This fish totally amazed the crew with its brute strength and stamina. With 3 flying gaffs in the fishes back she pulled the boat along at 5mph for 20 minutes before we even attempted to pull her over the gunnels.
Our crew did a great job throughout the fight. Chino was the leader man, and did not hesitate to take double wraps and pull the fish to within gaffing distance. Ralph was our captain and led us to 4 Blue Marlin bites in 4 days fishing with one boated and the others missed at the bite. Ralph was also the first one to put a flying gaff in the fish. George Brehm drove the boat during the fight and did a great job never missing a beat. 11 year old Nicholas Montalvo was a taking pictures once the fish was subdued as well as helped hoist the fish over the gunnels, as well as catching numerous Wahoo, and Dolphin.
The fish would have been released any other day, but the tournament Calcutta only pays out for boated fish. Our Blue Marlin was the biggest boated in any Bahamas billfish tournament this year, making it the biggest fish boated on the smallest boat participating.