Johnny’s fishy tale

Another Cayman fisherman can proudly add his name to the world record books and not have tell tales of ‘the one that got away’.

Johnny Doak caught a massive escolar, aka white tuna on a 50lb test line that weighed 125lbs.

It was caught off South Sound on 3 November while sword fishing aboard the Run Things II with captain Charles Ebanks and Emil Terry. The fish took the bait which was set at 800ft in about 2,000ft of water and it took about 20 minutes to land.

‘We knew it was a world record as Charles is the current all tackle world record holder for escolar,’ said Doak. ‘As I had caught it on 50lb test, we knew that category was open and ready for the taking.’

The catch is waiting to be ratified. ‘As far as I know, the paperwork has been filled out both by myself and the staff and witnesses from the Cayman Islands Angling Association.

‘We also had to provide the leader used plus the hook that will also be sent to the International Game Fishing Association so that they can essentially approve everything and put their rubber stamp on it to make it official.

‘We also had to cut the fish open to make sure it didn’t have any weight enhancers inside!’

No one helped Doak reel it in, as it would not have been unable to qualify as a world record. Both Ebanks and Terry did however gaff and boat the fish.

International rules stipulate that only one person may touch the rod and fight the fish for the entire battle, from the moment the bait is taken until the leader touches the tip of the rod. Once the leader has touched the tip, a person may grab the leader and gaff the fish to enable it to be brought into the boat.

This is a significant triumph for Doak, 29, because he has no other official records on the books.

‘The largest fish I had personally caught up until this point was a 63lbs Dogtooth Snapper, which I caught on a hand line about five years ago.

‘I have caught monster sharks on hand lines with my buddies off the beach in South Sound (bulls, hammerheads, reef) as well as having been a mate on Slack Em’ where I’ve helped tourists to catch numerous marlin and others. I’ve caught a lot of fish in my life, but this is definitely the largest so far.

‘The escolar was relatively easy, pretty much dead weight with a bit of a pull, until it got up to about 150ft and then it started to take quite a bit of line.

‘Once at the boat it was pretty relaxed until it came in the boat where it went crazy for a few minutes. We actually had to tie it to the centre console so that it wouldn’t break anything or anyone. My left arm was quite sore for the next few days from pumping the rod.’

Doak works at dms Management as a corporate administrator providing support to their directors who serve on the boards of numerous hedge funds.

‘Fishing is definitely a way to get away and relax. The great thing about is that it is different every single time you go out. You never know what is going to happen, you may or may not catch fish.’

For now he is concentrating on rugby as he also represents Cayman in sevens.

They were in Mexico for the Caribbean Championships over the weekend.

‘However if the invitation is there I will always make time for fishing.’