On April 20, 1999, at 11:30am, Tommy Resha of Birmingham, Alabama, caught a “despicable” marlin while fishing aboard Captain Ron Riebe Abracadabra of Key Largo, Florida. They were fishing in Marsh Harbor during the South Abaco stage of the Bahamas Longbill Championship.
The fish was a beast, estimated to be between 1,200 and 1,800 pounds — so large that as it passed under Bertram at 46 feet, the fish could be seen with its beak on one side and its tail on the other. side. The boat has a beam of 14 feet. This fish would set the record for the largest marlin caught in the Bahamas, so it would be worth $500,000 to anglers.
Using a 100-pound test line and a 400-pound test leader, Resha battled the Marlins for 32 hours and 40 minutes — considered one of the longest fishing matches ever.
No one slept during the battle, with Riba at the helm. Angler Resha is fed by the crew in battle chairs like prisoners in epic battles.
Wet towels are spread over his legs and water is poured over his head to protect and cool him from the scorching Bahamian sun. Resha even had to urinate in a fighting chair because if anyone other than him touched the rod or reel, it would disqualify the ball.
“This fish is big and smart,” Ribe said. “Everything we did, he responded. It was so intense. We chased him 25 miles in the boat. We tried all the tactics, different directions, everything. But this fish would actually turn the boat, It weighs 25 tons.”
Finally, the angler Resha was exhausted, so he tightened the drag on the reel and tried to pull the fish with the winch. Although the Marlins were drawn close enough during the fight that the crew touched the lead dozens of times during the fight, the lead eventually broke under extreme tension.
After the fierce battle, Reza tried to stand up, but couldn’t. Holding on to the rod for so long, his hand almost cramped.
“I had to fish for 37 years to find this sucker [the marlin]I hope I never see him again,” said Captain Ribe.