Jamaican fishermen land 900-pound sunfish

Nov. 18, 2013 at 12:36 PM

BOSTON BAY, Jamaica, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- A pair of Jamaican fisherman said they hooked a 900-pound sunfish and that one of them initially feared it was "an alien."

Desmond Phillips said he was out fishing Sunday morning off the coast of Boston Bay, Portland Parish, with the boat's captain, Michael Grant, when he ensnared what appeared to be an enormous fish, The Gleaner reported Monday.

"It was a difficult fight," Phillips said.

"It was difficult to bring the fish to the surface, and even more challenging to get the monster into the boat. When I realized what it was that we had caught, I said to my partner, Michael Grant, who is the boat captain, maybe we should release it," Phillips said.

"At first, I thought it was an alien and I was somewhat frightened," he said.

Phillips said Grant convinced him the fish should be brought to shore, but the men were unable to get the fish into the boat after more than an hour of trying. They decided to tie the fish to the boat and tow it to shore, but soon found the weight of the fish was slowing them down considerably.

"We decided then that if we were going to take the fish to shore, it had to come onboard," Phillips said. "And after a lengthy period, and with water flooding into the boat, we finally brought it into the boat and set sail for Bryans Bay."

Andre Kong, chief executive officer of the Fisheries Division in the agriculture ministry, said sunfish are not native to Jamaican waters, but the species is not a threat to Jamaica's fish stock, as they mainly eat jellyfish and other invertebrates.

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