By Capt. Dave Lear
June 9, 2012, Biloxi, Mississippi:
Even intermittent rain and cloudy skies couldn’t dampen the spirits of two teams Friday, as the second day of fishing in the Classic drew to a close. Done Deal, a 56 Viking based in Houma, Louisiana, waited until late to back up to the scales. Once there the dock crew quickly slid a big blue marlin up to the block and tackle. As a dedicated crowd looked on, Weigh master Jack Teschel announced the results–563.8 pounds–which pushed the team atop the leader board.
“There’s nothing like catching a fish in the rain,” happy angler Robert Perez declared after the total flashed on the digital scale. Perez said the marlin ate a live skipjack tuna and was to the boat in about 45 minutes. But with only a 200-pound test leader, it took another hour and 15 minutes to actually boat it. Done Deal was fishing near the Ewings Bank, southwest of the Mississippi River, when the catch was made.
As the biggest fish so far, Done Deal’s marlin could be worth more than $200,000 if it holds. Fishing continues through Saturday afternoon, however, and there’s still plenty of time left for changes. The scales at the Point Cadet Marina, behind the Isle Casino Hotel in Biloxi, open at 3 p.m. and close at 9 p.m. today.
Tom Adams, an architect from Birmingham, Alabama, also made quite the impression when he and his team aboard High C’s unloaded their catch around 4 p.m. Friday afternoon. Adams, fishing in his first Classic, also weighed his first blue marlin. It tipped the scales at 332.7 pounds. Adams was about three minutes into his turn in the chair when the fish ate a ballyhoo skirted by a classic blue/white Inlander lure run off the port outrigger. The fight lasted 30 minutes.
“It’s a great feeling coming in with a fish,” added Capt. Chuck Darring, of Orange Beach, Alabama. The High C’s skipper said they were fishing near the Noble Danny Atkins drilling rig about 75 miles south of Louisiana’s South Pass.
“We saw some whales yesterday and lots of tuna,” he said. “The water was pretty out there, but we had a bumpy ride back in. Now we’re going to take on some fuel, look at the weather again and head back out to try and find another one.”
In addition to blue marlin, tuna, dolphin and wahoo are also the target of the 60 boats fishing the tournament. Marlin must measure 100 inches or more, while the game fish have to be at least 20 pounds.