Every fisherman, whether he does it for sport or leisure, has a story about the “one that got way.” For one young man, his story is just the opposite. Kai Rizzuto, a 16-year-old from Fort Greene, landed a mammoth half-ton blue marlin off the coast of Hawaii on Wednesday.
Kai is the grandson of Jim Rizzuto, who is a famous Kona Fishing author.
Rizzuto and his family went out with Ihu Nui Sportfishing to see if anything was biting. Luckily, something was hungry. And that something was big. The fish and teen fought for just over 30 minutes. The struggle proved too much for the marlin and it died by the time Kai had reeled it in.
The fish officially weigh in at 1,058 pounds, and earned the title of “grander.” Granders are marlins that weigh over a thousand pounds, and are quite rare.
Kai, who lives in Brooklyn, visits his grandfather every year on the big island. Two summers ago, the teen apprenticed as a deckhand on a charter ship. He has been fishing since he was two. CNN reports that this was the first time the young Rizzuto was behind the reel for the big catch.
“He has quite a bit of experience in big game fishing, but this was the first time that he has been the guy on the rod and reel for a blue marlin,” Jim Rizzuto said.
The fish gave the teen quite the fight.
“It was jumping straight out of the water, fully breached, shaking its head trying to free itself,” Kai told CNN. “I was really hoping and praying that nothing would happen to this fish and that it wouldn’t break off [the line].”
Jim Rizzuto notes that most of the time, fisherman practice the “catch and release” method with blue marlin.
“This fish came to the boat dead, upside down on its back, there was no chance of reviving it,” he said. “By and large, we try and release every blue marlin we can as a conservation measure, but sometimes in a hard fight the fish dies and there is nothing you can do.”
The fate for this monster of a fish? Feeding “a couple hundred of people.” Marlin is a high protein meat and has been eaten for centuries. When a fish this special is caught it is shared with the people.
Kai’s half-ton catch inspired him to seek a future that involves the ocean.
“This makes me want to go into ocean science or to study the bigger creatures out there. Maybe I want to be a captain. I want to keep my options open.”
What’s the biggest fish you ever caught? Anything bigger than a 1,058 pound marlin?
[Photos via Ihu Nui Sportfishing/Facebook]