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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hooked Marlin Takes It Out On The Photographers

A massive marlin showed sportfishermen at a Hawaiian billfish tournament what this apex predator can do.
What he thought might be a tuna turned out to be a Pacific blue marlin estimated to weigh more than 550 pounds. It leaped and started "careening through the air in every conceivable direction, throwing massive walls of water with every move of its huge tail, and leaving car-size holes in the water when it came crashing down," Schwartz recalled.
"Schwartz" is fisherman/photographer Jon Schwartz. Fortunately, he and a whole gaggle of photographers were on the scene when the hooked animal took on the press boat:
Now mind you, I am watching all of this through my 300 mm telephoto lens. I was so focused on getting the shot that I probably lost sense of what was really happening in terms of how the fish was behaving. All I knew was that the fish came at us so quickly that soon I was unable to see it through the camera (see shot #4 in the photo above) and I was starting to miss it because my lens was too long! "It must be close!" I thought! "Where's my wide lens?"
This is the beast that Ernest Hemingway told you about (that's him in the photo, on a dock in Bimini with four freshly landed marlins in 1935). And these fish can swim at upwards of 100 kilometers (62 miles) an hour.

Then, as if according to script, the maniacal marlin broke the hook and got away. He probably didn't get the memo that said this was a tag-and-release tournament.

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