Fishin’ Fun: ‘It’s a dandy!’

Published 9:07 am Sunday, August 19, 2018

A huge, 911-pound blue marlin caught by sport fishing vessel Builder’s Choice on Day 1, remained in first place in the Pirate’s Cove Billfish Tournament when press time rolled around Friday at noon. The big blue came into the docks Tuesday afternoon around 1:30.

Tournament judge, Capt. Marty Brill, later reported the catch and what the Builder’s Choice captain had to say when he reported it to the committee boat by marine radio. It went something like this: “Blue marlin on board” … “It’s a dandy.”

Only marlins that weigh more than 400 pounds are brought back to the dock these days and the rest are released unharmed. These veteran captains and crew can simply look at a blue marlin and tell roughly how much it weighs.

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And judging from the photo, the one Builder’s Choice caught, fought and landed was every bit of the 911-pounds. It’s literally a catch of a lifetime. Perhaps it will hold out to be the overall winner in this world-class event, which ended Friday at 4 p.m.

During a live radio broadcast Thursday evening on Water Country with Autumn Kozer, he told folks the plain truth about the front runner blue marlin.

“That’s like the Oscar [award],” he said. “That’s a big deal – you don’t know what a big deal it is!”

Brill, a former offshore charter boat captain himself, said he thought the captain of the Builder’s Choice had made an interesting decision to go for a blue right out of the gates.

Apparently, they used a certain lure or bait, Brill said, to catch a big blue instead of other baits that also lure white marlin to bite. The strategy worked, he noted. A California friend of the crew, Rick Childers, said they brought it into the fish door and the female filled the cockpit.

Once back at the dock Tuesday afternoon, the potential game winner didn’t hang long and it was hauled off to be processed and smoked, several sources said. Childers was attending Thursday’s social with Gayle Parrish of Richmond, Virginia and Frankie Klock of Corona, California.

He said he got the call to come check it all out when Builder’s Choice caught the big one. Childers said he’s part of a project that entails switching over the lighting around the marina to LED.

A ton of vendors were there Thursday night selling and promoting everything from Rolex watches to diesel engines, full-sized four wheel drive trucks and yes, 60-foot long brand new sport fishing vessels.

That evening, I got to see both a tuna and a dolphin get weighed in. Wendy Hayes of the Bi Op Sea seemed tickled when the guys weighed in her nice bull dolphin at 37.5-pounds. It had an overall length of 58.25-inches. Ryan Waters of Game Time was there too and he weighed in a small, 26.2-pound yellowfin.

Inside the dockside pavilion, they were serving up some nice fried and seared tuna bites from Basnight’s Lone Cedar. My neighbor Earl Ross was serving up the tuna bites two at a time.

Tournament Director Heather Maxwell was running around busy as a bee. At one point, I ran into former Manteo Redskins sports standout Justice Bobbitt and his family. Next, I saw Dickie and Tracy Campbell and the triplets — Joe, John and Chance.

Around the corner, Terry and Robin Stewart of T.W.s Bait and Tackle were just arriving. We talked for a minute and he gave me some good advice on where to try flounder gigging when I wanted to have a little Fishin’ Fun.