A WHITSUNDAYS man has landed a spectacular fish weighing a whopping 360 kilograms (800lb) while on a sport fishing expedition - and it's still smaller than the biggest black marlin caught on his outing off the coast of Cairns.
Sam Lacy from Airlie Beach reeled in the 4m long fish on Tuesday while aboard the 13.4 metre (44-foot) Sea Fever Sportsfishing charter boat, after a strenuous fight stretching an hour and a half.
The experience was like "fighting with a freight train", the 34-year-old said.
"It was bloody extraordinary. The power of those fish is just unbelievable. It just gets the heart pumping."
"I have so much respect for these fish. I could've nearly fit in its mouth. It's incredible.
"We do it this time each year, me and three mates. This is our fifth time out. It's what dreams are made of. I dreamt of catching giant black marlin as a kid and now I'm out here doing it."
The largest marlin caught on the day, however, was a 408kg (900lb) fish, alongside a number of smaller catches.
Ashley Matthews, the skipper and owner of Sea Fever, said Mr Lacy couldn't wipe the grin off his face, and is trying for a similar catch before his five day trip wraps up on Saturday.
While Sea Fever passengers usually catch, photograph and release the fish with little trouble, this particular specimen sadly died in the fight, to the disappointment of all on-board.
In honour of the marlin, Mr Lacy plans to use its body to make a mould, which will be kept for posterity (and no doubt bragging rights).
"I don't think we'll get a mould of the whole thing because it probably wouldn't fit in the house," Mr Lacy laughed.
Mr Matthews reported North Queensland is one of the best spots in the world to hook black marlin - one of the fastest fish in the world - due to spawning grounds off the Cairns coast.
The largest marlin Mr Matthews has seen reeled in weighed more than half a tonne (544kg, or 1200lb).
"To fool a big marlin into coming up and eating one of those (spanish mackerel), it really doesn't get any better," the 43-year-old said.
Black marlin can be found throughout tropical Indo-Pacific waters.