(KHON) – A Honolulu man has extra reason to be thankful this holiday season after a bizarre run-in with a giant marlin.
Russell Ching and a few friends were fishing about 25 miles off Kaneohe when they hooked the fish.
Ching says they fought it for about an hour and a half before pulling it onto the boat.
By then, the marlin was dead. But little did they know, another battle was about to begin.
“As we dragged it in, all that weight started to slip and I was kind of in a bad position and it just went through my leg,” Ching said.
Home video shows the marlin’s bill going in point-first.
“When it first went in, I couldn’t believe how easy it went into my leg. I mean, it was like a hot knife through butter,” Ching said.
Ching says the spear pinned him to the inside of the boat, and he was trapped under the weight of the fish, which was more than 500 pounds.
“After that, I think shock set in and then it felt like somebody kicked me in the shin and that’s what it felt like the whole time,” he said. “I was always concerned about more than when they were alive, but this one was dead weight and the shifting weight puts it right in my leg which is, I couldn’t believe it, you know.”
Although he had the spear in his leg, luck was on his side. It sliced through cleanly, missing all major arteries.
But they were still more than 25 miles and about two hours from shore. His initial fear was bleeding out.
“I was afraid of that,” Ching said. “I kept asking my friend if it was bleeding, but he said he wasn’t too concerned about that. Plus, the bill kind of plugged it up.”
Despite his harrowing ordeal, Ching says he plans on being back out on the water, hopefully soon.
As for the fish itself? “My buddy sold it. I didn’t get a chance to take a photo or anything like that,” Ching said.
But he did manage to keep a memento: the bill that sliced through him.
“The tip, I don’t know. I’ll probably mount it or something,” he said. “It’s a good story to tell people something. I’ll keep it for him defense or something.”