A fisherman from Orange Beach has reeled in a record-breaking marlin weighing nearly 900 lbs at an annual fishing championship in Destin.
Lance Hill and the crew of Cotton Patch brought in a blue marlin weighing 899.6 lbs to win the 13th annual Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic.
The record billfish was measured at 134-inches with a girth of 74-inches to earn Team Cotton Patch first place and a payout of $195,277.
“I caught my first billfish, a sail, in 1968 when I was 13 years old, out of Orange Beach, Alabama,” said Cotton Patch owner and captain Johnny Dorland. “So to come out on top in a tournament of this caliber, competing all summer against guys you respect and to do it with friends and family is very gratifying.”
The competition was held at the Sandestin Baytowne Marina, where 78 teams entered. 29 of them took home winnings, with the top prize going to Dorland’s team.
“Sure the money is nice. But to catch a fish like this one is definitely rewarding. And we’re not stopping. We’re going to keep after it until we catch another one that weighs 101 pounds more. That’s our next goal, to boat a grander.”
Hill, who caught the fish, is said to have labored over the course of six hours to reel in the massive marlin.