SAN DIEGO (AP / CBS 8) - A hotel doorman has caught what is believed to be the largest ever fish to be speared off the San Diego coast.
Joel Smith, 33, speared a 413-pound, 12-foot blue Marlin Sept. 2. He had kept his giant prize quiet because he feared negative reactions.
Smith spotted the 400-pounded Marlin off the coast of Point Loma, and decided to take the shot of a lifetime.
"When I was on the kelp diving I saw a couple small yellow fin under it and I was going down to take a shot on them, and that's when I saw the Marlin came up," said Smith.
The 33-year-old was free diving with his father, 25 miles off Point Loma, hoping to land a nice size Tuna.
Smith and his father have been spear fishing for decades, but they had never seen a fish like the one they caught.
"It came really close, kind of went broadside and looked at me and presented itself with a really good shot. I took a calculated risk and took the shot," said Smith.
Once the fish was hit, it went belly up for just a few seconds.
"I thought I stone it, killed it, with that one shot. It floated belly up and as I started back to the boat it woke up and started in the opposite direction. very dangerous situation. They most definitely can turn on you, if they feel threatened, and that definitely was a concern," he said.
Eventually, the fisherman won the the tug of war.
"We took it straight to Point Loma Seafood and they smoked it. I got it two days ago, turned out really good. Awesome," he said.
Smith said "it was an awesome experience to share with my dad. It was a couple days after his birthday, so it was really cool."
Smith said he got 150-pounds of smoked fish from the catch, but said he had to to take that underwater shot again, he would not do it.
He said it's too much of a risk of either loosing the fish or losing his life.