They were originally designed for big bluefin tuna but they are now used more often for dragging a big blue marlin aboard. And it was dawning on Capt. Sam that with no door in the stern, they were going to have a real problem getting this fish in the boat.
For over two hours they drifted along in the current and tried every method imaginable to hoist the fish over the side. Keep in mind that this fish was nearly 14 feet long and well over 500 pounds from what they could tell. They heaved. They hoed. They tied ropes to the flying bridge. They ran a rope down into the bilge, wrapping it around the propeller shaft and tried to use the turning shaft to winch it up. Nothing worked and it was getting late in the day. Towing the fish all the way back to Oregon Inlet was a saddening thought.
Finally Sam and his crew, tied the fish off to the stern as best they could and began to head for shore. Then Sam came up with a great idea. Eleven miles away was the Diamond Shoals light tower. At the time, the Diamond tower was a manned tower about 17 miles straight out from the point of Cape Hatteras. It was attached to the sea floor right at the tip of the treacherous Diamond Shoals. The platform was a four-legged tower similar to the oil rigs used in the Gulf of Mexico. A lighthouse rose from its roof. The living quarters for the crew was located about 50 feet above the surface of the sea. Maybe, thought Capt. Sam, the light crew could help them get this monster marlin in the boat.
After towing the fish those eleven miles and to the surprise of the crew aboard the tower, Sam pulled the charter boat underneath the catwalk. One of the crewman came out, and obviously not understanding how rare such a big marlin was, hollered down to the Fight-n-Lady. “Hey, is that your biggest one today?”. Obviously he thought Sam just wanted to show off the big fish. But Sam hollered up that they needed help getting him aboard.
Before long Sam maneuvered the single engine boat carefully between the legs of the tower. The sea was calm but there was a bit of swell picking the boat up and down. The man on the tower, now joined by several other curious crewmembers, let down a cable from their cargo winch. Soon they had the big marlin lifted far enough into the air that Sam was able to back the boat underneath the fish. The crew on the tower then dropped the fish right smack dab into the