HOLY MACKEREL! Fishos reel in massive catch
WHEN Vaughan Cullen dropped his line to fish for mackerel, the last thing he expected was to reel in the catch of a lifetime.
On Friday, Mr Cullen and mates Harry, Syd and Ben set out on a fishing trip from Dundee Beach for Ben's birthday.
They found a spot, dropped their lines and 10 minutes later hooked their first and only fish for the day.
They knew it was big but it wasn't until about an hour later when the fish jumped did they realise it was a black marlin.
"It was epic," Mr Cullen said.
"The fish at one stage there, probably about four hours in, we had three sharks after it and I just put the reel on freespill and let it run off to get away from the sharks and then we chased after it again."
They wrestled the marlin for seven and a half hours. They travelled about 8km before landing it.
When the fishos reached shore, a forklift was called in to lift the marlin, which weighed about 100kg and was 2.5m long at short length.
Onlookers were stunned the group caught the fish on light mackerel gear.
"Seriously, we were just going to get a few mackerel for the barbecue," he laughed.
"I still don't have feeling in three of my fingers on my hand that was holding the rod.
"It was a huge a team effort on that boat that day and it just happened that I had the rod."
The group tried to release the marlin back to the sea but were unsuccessful, so brought it to land so it wouldn't suffer a painful death by sharks.
The group hired the boat from Darwin Fishing Adventures owner Mick Mannix, who commended the group for doing their best to revive the fish.
He advised other fishos whenever they hook a billfish to try catch it quickly.
"Try to land the fish as quickly as possible so you're not stressing the fish," he said.
"The less you handle the fish the better, it is for the fish's future."
Mr Cullen considered taxidermy for the fish but donated it to the Dundee community instead.
Originally published as HOLY MACKEREL! Fishos reel in massive catch off Dundee Beach