Sterling Ellis, 19, of Houston, who is in remission from Hodgkin's lymphoma and is scheduled to undergo a bone marrow transplant, was sent to Hawaii by the Make-A-Wish Foundation and spent the day fishing 15 miles off Kewalo Basin in Honolulu with the crew of The Wild Bunch, KHNL-TV, Honolulu, reported Tuesday.
"We just call it a blind strike. Just out of nowhere. We thought it was a tuna first. We really did." captain Karl Adams said of Ellis' unexpected catch.
"I was reeling it, and then I saw this big black fin and then it just started going the opposite direction, taking all my line," Ellis said. "My arm hurt a little bit and he's like just keep reeling and I'm like, I don't think I can. Not that it's like pressure on me, but my arm is like locked up and I can't really reel."
Ellis said it took more than an hour to reel in his catch with the help of the crew. The fish turned out to be an 11-foot-long, 759-pound marlin.
"He was a little tired and that was half the battle, bringing it back in the boat. We're one of the few boats that don't have a transom door but we do have a Jim pole to get him in. And it took all my deckhands and myself and two kids that are not that big to get it in the boat," Adams said.
The captain said Ellis will get to keep the marlin's bill as a souvenir of his catch. The rest of the fish will be sold by the charter boat to pay its fuel cost.