KONA, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) -
It was certainly the catch of the day for a New York City teenager when he "caught the fish of a lifetime," a 1,058-pound blue marlin, off the Kona coast on Wednesday.
"I would imagine that there's not very many more things as exhilarating than catching a 'grander' in Kona," said 16-year-old Kai Rizzuto.
The gargantuan marlin measured 11 feet from its jaw to tail and took Kai 30 minutes to reel in. "It was a 30-minute fight. I'll tell you it was the hardest 30 minutes I've ever fought a fish," said Rizzuto. "When I saw that fish at the end of line I was just thinking, don't break off. Do not break off."
When Rizzuto finally did reel the fish in, his catch barely fit onto their boat, with the tail hanging out the door and the bill a couple inches into the boat's cabin.
"He was excited but it was really hard work. We went very hard after that fish," Kai's Grandfather, Jim Rizzuto said. "He went right at it with a lot of professional calm that surprised me."
Even McGrew Rice of Ihu Nui Sport Fishing who has seen his fair share of large fish was impressed by Rizzuto's composure.
"Being that he's young, big and strong, he was able to handle the kind of pressure that we put on the fish," Rice said.
People from all over the world travel to Kona in hopes of reeling in such a rare catch, but it was Rizzuto's lucky day. Rizzuto is even believed to be the youngest angler to pull in a grander off Kona.
"Somebody said that's the catch of a lifetime. My response is that he's got a lot of lifetime ahead of him," Jim Rizzuto said. "He doesn't have to worry about what he's going to write his college essay about."
Since Rizzuto's catch was dead after the 30-minute fight, the fish was shared with the people in the area."My estimate is today there are over 100 people that are enjoying that fish," said Jim Rizzuto.
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