A group of anglers was nearly 70 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach when something yanked their bait — hard.
“We all said, ‘Whoa that’s a big one right there,’” fisherman Reese Bowles told WAVY. The Reelin N Dealin team spent the next 2 1/2 hours fighting for the fish, which turned out to be the second-largest marlin ever recorded in the state, WAVY reported.
“Congratulations to the entire crew of the ‘Reelin N Dealin,’” the tournament page wrote, adding that the catch was a “once in a lifetime kind of fish.”
While the marlin appeared to be nearly the length of a compact car, it wasn’t the largest marlin caught in Virginia. The record was set in 1978 when Edward Alan Givens caught a 1,093-pound blue marlin, according to the Virginia Beach Angler’s Club.
“Every time (the fish) kicked its tail my entire body would move up and down,” Bowles told WAVY. “So I had my buddy Bryce grab my belt loop so I didn’t go over.”
Blue marlin are classified as a vulnerable species and females live up to 27 years old, according to National Geographic.
“Known for putting up a tremendous fight when hooked, these rare marine monsters are the holy grail for sport fishers,” National Geographic said about the fish.
“We don’t get the hoopla of some of the places to our south, but we got the same fish and we got the same opportunity,” Bowles told WAVY.