Fisherman Dives to Recover 505-Pound Marlin in Hong Kong

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 16, 2013

Tales of fishermen reeling in huge catches have been going on for centuries, but few are willing to go to the lengths that Captain David Tuthill did when he and his group caught a massive 12-foot, 505-pound blue marlin in the South China Sea.

According to David Strege of, Tuthill and a group of Hong Kong-based hedge-fund traders executed a once-in-a-lifetime catch, finally securing the marlin when Tuthill dove into the potentially shark-infested water 75 miles southeast of Hong Kong Island and pulled the fish to the surface.

Fellow fisherman Brad Ainslie sent an email to GrindTV describing Tuthill's brave act. Known for fighting until their death, the monster fish started to perish 25 to 30 feet below the boat but refused to be pulled in—after three-plus hours and over six miles of being pursued and wrestled with.

That's when Tuthill decided to go in after it.

Tut then decided to try something that I have never seen on the open water or have ever heard of anyone doing before: He threw on a mask, snorkel and fins, grabbed a gaff and dove down to the fish and dragged the beast to the surface.

That was no small feat, as Tuthill was significantly outweighed by the marlin, but he felt as though he needed to do it so that the fish wasn't wasted.

"The only thing worse than killing a billfish, is killing a billfish and watching them sink, wasted," Tuthill told GrindTV in the email. "Marlin are great eating in the end, so if you do take one home, as we did, at least we fed a big portion of Hong Kong with that fish and kept a lot of the fish (bill, tail and top fin) for mounting, putting everything we could to good use."

According to Strege, the story was originally reported by Danny Lee of the South China Morning Post, but Tuthill's foray into the water wasn't discussed.   

Even without Tuthill jumping in, the story is an incredible one. According to Lee, Hong Kong fishing expert Kim Stuart said that no blue marlin had been caught in that area in 15 years, since it is away from their natural habitat.

Tuthill and his crew members have a story to tell for a lifetime, and the captain's heroics certainly make it that much better.


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