584-pound blue marlin pulls in top prize at Poco Bueno (video)
July 20, 2013 at 2:20 a.m.
Updated July 21, 2013 at 2:21 a.m.
PORT O'CONNOR - Hundreds gathered along the dock near the Fishing Center on Saturday in anticipation of the arrival of Let It Ride.
The boat owned by Gary Edwards of Port Aransas was expected to win the tournament with a marlin on board that was an estimated 118 inches.
"We were running on fumes so getting to the jetties was as big a victory as catching the big fish," said Bryan Richter, who reeled in the catch for more than two hours. "We were worried. It was up and down."
Every 10 minutes, boats backed into the slot in front of the weigh station to unload their haul. The weigh-in crew helped lift the fish to the deck where they were measured, hooked, hoisted and weighed.
Members of the fishing crews huddled around their catches as they hung in the air and photographers moved in for their shots.
Bimini Babe from Rockport with the largest dolphin, Tres Ninos from Galveston and Bandit from Destin, Fla. were among the parade of boats that backed in before Let It Ride arrived.
To the sound of cheers, it was finally Let It Ride's turn.
The weigh-in crew and fishermen lifted the 584-pound blue marlin from the recess of the 59-foot Spencer yacht.
"They deserve to win," said Chris Pickett, a friend of crew member Peter Young.
Let It Ride burned last year and ended up on the floor of the Gulf, he said.
The seven-member crew consisted of a group of friends and family who are accustomed to fishing together. To win, they had 160 miles to motor in four-and-a-half hours after their catch.
Richter said he is not sure how much money the crew won, but he plans to spend it on bait and fuel so he can fish the next Poco Bueno.
Over-ride, which brought in a 561.5-pound, 110.5-inch marlin Friday night finished second, and First Choice came in third with a 414.5-pounder measuring 101 inches.
The first marlin in Friday, by the boat Mechanical Man, finished fifth behind Tico Time which caught a 401.5-pound marlin that measured 103.25 inches.