When most people think of Hawaii, they think of luaus, volcanoes, gorgeous sunsets over calm waters. Paradise, in other words. Those who go fishing in those waters know that the surf can be rough–especially during their “winter” months–but these aren’t “Deadliest Catch” conditions. However, one man recently had the fight of his life while battling a monstrous tuna off the coast of Kauai, and the tuna almost won.
Anthony Wichman reeled in the 230-pound Ahi fish and fought with it in his 14-foot boat, eventually stabbing it in the eye with a gaffe–a long pole with a sharp hook on the end–in order to get it under control. But that only made the fish angry, and it managed to jump back into the water with the line still attached to it. Unfortunately, it also wrapped around Wichman’s ankle and he went overboard, too, flipping the boat as he went.
“He gaffed it once in the back, and the second gaffe went straight into the fish’s eye and that caused the fish to take a final dive,” said Anuhea Wichman, whose father called her during his fight with the fish. “And [the fish] dove straight down, and the line wrapped around my dad’s ankle and pulled him overboard.”
Luckily, Wichman had his cell phone with him that day. His daughter called the coast guard and they used his signal to track him down in the water. As he was being rescued, friends of the family found the boat and towed it to shore, where they found the fish still attached. Wichman told them to keep it as a gesture of his appreciation.
This is far from the first wild story about sea life we’ve heard this year; earlier this month, a Nantucket man caught a 200-pound sand shark in his boat and wrestled him on the beach with his bare hands.