DATELINE: August 18, 2012, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Nothing could tempt Molly Palmer and her team on board the Kona charter boat “Anxious” to break the rules.
Not a World Record. Not even a share of a $129,000.00 purse.
It was the classic story – the great, massive fish and an epic battle, but with a modern twist. This was a young woman, not an old man – and the marlin on the end of the line would easily be First Place in the 26th Big Island Marlin Tournament. Total purse was $129,690.00.
If it beat 950 pounds, it would also be a World Record.
Fishing off the Kona Coast yesterday, Molly Palmer hooked into a monster blue marlin, got strapped into the fighting harness and went to work. Four hours later, she was actually further away from catching the behemoth than she was when it bit, and she was out of gas. Now, she knew exactly how the Old Man of the Sea felt.
Molly’s problem was not sharks. It was simpler. It is a fundamental fact of the sport, often overlooked in the hyperole – a marlin cannot be caught unless it is at the surface of the ocean. Molly’s fish stayed deep.
Capt. Neil Isaacs tried to maneuver the boat in such a way as to confuse the fish so it would rise to the surface where the crew could try and man handle it into submission. The fish dove deeper. The clock ticked 4 hours.
Molly and the marlin gave out about the same time. It was truly a standoff. Neither could win, yet neither could go any further. Molly had whipped the fish, but the fish had whipped her back. She needed help to get it to the surface, which would disqualify the catch in the tournament. The decision was made to help her land the fish, but the crew all knew that this meant they would win no money. They never even considered cheating.
It took the five male crewmen 2 more hours to land the monster and get it to the dock, where it tipped the scales at 1,022.5 pounds. It was First Place but they did not try to claim it. It was a World Record too. Same choice.
Sad? No way. Full of regret? Hell No! A world record size party ensued. They went back out fishing today.