SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A local fisherman and boat captain caught a massive blue marlin Wednesday, tipping the scales at more than 600 pounds.
The fisherman and captain met on Instagram through their passion for sport fishing. Together, they have caught many fish, but nothing quite like this. Hanging from the weigh station at the Marlin Club, their catch is the largest blue marlin caught off the Southern Californian Coast.
"Once we saw the fish for the first time, we knew we had to focus," said Matt.
The pair used teamwork and the help of another boat to pull the huge catch in inch by inch. Two hours later, they got her in, drawing a crowd of envious fisherman and tourists taking pictures.
"This is really cool. I was really stoked. That is a picture of a lifetime," said Matt.
The International Game Fish Association says the pre El Nino effect is making it a banner year for sport fisherman. A few weeks ago, a 400 pound marlin was speared off Point Loma.
"A lot of exotics have come. We have weighed several short billed spear fish which are unusual in these water," said Don Wroncy, Marlin Club President and IGFA member.
Matt Santora said Wednesday’s catch has made it the best day of his life.
"Not a bad fish. I am more than humbled, more than stoked, super excited," said Matt.
NOAA Fisheries say with more marlin being caught, they are encouraging fisherman to tag the billed fish for research. Blue marlin are commonly known to live in the middle of the eastern pacific. A biologist with the NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center says the warmer water is attracting more fish such as blue marlin, dorado and washoo fish.
They say tagging will help research the bill fish and other species moving up the coast during unusual water temperatures and which ones will become more common.
The International Game Fish Association reports that 72 marlin were caught in 2014 and 22 have been caught or released so far in 2015.
The San Diego Marlin Club will be holding a Halloween fundraiser Sunday, October 31st from 6-10 p.m.
Part of this story was shot using GoPro.