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THE BIG FISH AND THE MAIDEN VOYAGE CONT. FROM PAGE 42

cockpit of the Fight-n-Lady. With that, Sam shouted a heartfelt thank-you and turned the boat for Oregon Inlet, some 42 miles away.

When the tired crew finally arrived back at the Fishing Center just before dark, they found that there were still complications to be dealt with. At that time there was no weight scale at the marina large enough to weigh such a fish. So they headed by boat over to the commercial fishing community of Wanchese at the southern end of Roanoke Island, to weigh the big marlin on a flat shipping scale that was normally used for packing fish and crabs at Griggs Crabhouse. When it was finally figured out how to weigh the fish on the scale, it topped out at a whopping 725 pounds and at the time it was the largest marlin ever caught from Oregon Inlet. Capt. Sam, who later went on to boat a blue marlin that topped the scales at 1020 pounds said, that by all accounts, the scales in Wanchese that day under weighed the fish.

It was pretty near midnight before Sam and the Fight-n-Lady returned to their slip at the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center. There were still tuna to filet and a boat to clean up but nobody was complaining. The Fight-n-Lady had started her fishing career off with one of the best maiden voyages ever. She went on to become just one of a line of boats with the Fight-n-Lady name, but Sam will probably always remember that maiden voyage as one of the most unforgettable days of his career, which continues to this day at the very same dock where it all began, the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center. If you get a chance, stop by the Fight-n-Lady and get him to tell you the story himself!

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