It was not an even matchup -- a 529-pound blue marlin versus a 38-year-old Frederick woman. The marlin didn't stand a chance.
It took an hour, but Gigi Wagner reeled in the massive fish, giving her boat the winning catch in the 47th annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament held off Morehead City, N.C.
When she got the 1101/2-inch fish on the line, she said she wondered if she "could actually get the fish to the boat."
"It's a physical battle," said Wagner, who said she goes offshore fishing in Maryland just about every weekend. "It is sort of a waiting game to see who's going to wear down first."
Wagner and the rest of the crew aboard the Maryland-based boat Size Matters still had to wait after they landed the marlin. The catch could have been surpassed on Saturday, the event's second day, and it almost was -- one fish tipped the scales on Saturday at 507 pounds, good for third place. The second-place fish was 5151/2 pounds.
All three were large marlins, but none compared to the Big Rock record -- an 831-pound marlin caught in 2000.
Wagner said she plans to participate in the competition next year, but not before first heading down to Florida, Mexico and the Bahamas to fish this winter.
Josh Ruskey, captain of Size Matters, took home $677,800 in winnings from the tournament.
-- Daniel Lyght