114kg marlin taken off Tweed
MURWILLUMBAH fisherman David Montgomery realised a longstanding ambition last Friday week off the Tweed Coast, enduring a 90-minute, battle to land a three-metre, 114kg black marlin.
Mr Montgomery, his children Sarah 11, and Ronald, 9, and friend Gary Dorrough were trolling on the way back from the continental shelf 26km to sea on another seemingly fruitless trip when the reel started to scream.
Twenty kilometres from shore the 10-inch soft-plastic lure had done its job and the big black marlin lurched from the depths, tail-walking across the surface in a desperate attempt to throw the lure.
"It covered about 100 metres in five seconds," Mr Montgomery said.
"It just went mad, all over the place."
At the point of contact with the marlin there was 100 metres of water beneath the boat, but by the time it was brought to the side of the boat, 90 minutes later, the depth had increased three-fold and the boat had travelled 14 kilomtres to the south-east.
"There was not another boat in sight," Mr Dorrough said.
The relief was palpable once the big fish had been subdued, but the next problem was getting it into the six-metre boat for the long haul home.
Despite the transom (back) of the boat being customised to haul in such a catch, it proved a mammoth task. Too big to be hauled over the side, an attempt to pull it tail-first through the back door was in vain, so it had to be turned around and dragged in bill-first.
A happy David Montgomery had landed his first billfish, a year after daughter Sarah had upstaged him with her catch of a 1.5-metre marlin off the Tweed Coast.
Once home, the task of cutting it into fillets and getting it into the freezer was nearly as onerous as the catch itself.
With 73.3kg of fillets stacked away and given to friends, what what began as a strike at 10.30am turned out to be more than a full day's work for the Montgomerys, with final clean-up completed at 11 o'clock that night.
And the all-important verdict on how the marlin shaped up as a table fish?
"Absolutely lovely," Mr Montgomery said. "I'll be eating fish every second day for the rest of my life." ? SUTTO