A 413-pound marlin and a 101.7 pound yellowfin led two of the five categories as of 6 p.m. Saturday in the inaugural Greg D. Perez International Sportfishing Derby at the Agat and Hagåtña marinas.
Derby official Angelica Perez, stationed at the Gregorio D. Perez Marina in Hagåtña, said the results weren’t yet final because the leaderboard didn’t include any fish weighed in at the Agat Marina.
There were 100 boats entered into the 12-hour derby, said Carol Perez, one of seven children of the derby namesake, Greg D. Perez. Her father, she said, raised a family of fishermen and he still holds the record — 1,153 pounds — for the largest marlin caught in Guam’s waters.
Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three finishers in each category, said Carol Perez, and a $50,000 bonus was ready for any fisherman who broke her father’s record.
Late in the day, the record was safe.
But that didn’t stop boat captain Edgar Orallo and his crew on the Queen Rhoda, who snagged the 413-pound marlin off of the Rota Banks in Guam’s northern waters.
“We were hoping for something small today because this is our first derby. We weren’t expecting something really, really big,” said Orallo. “We caught a really small marlin at first, then on the way back, we just magically hit this, I guess the biggest one here.”
With crew members Mervin Angulo and Erwin Davis, the team took about two and a half hours to bring in the monster fish. Ed Orallo said that the “really small marlin” weighed about 100 pounds, maybe less.
It took just less than an hour and 20 minutes for the first marlin of the day to weigh in. Samuel Enano arrived at 7:20 a.m. with a 194.9-pound marlin. Before noon, the Island Girl I, with captain Joseph Palacios, landed a 147-pound marlin. Those led the board at Hagåtña as of press time.