WATCH: Record-breaking fish hooked off our coast
CROWDS gasped in awe as the heaviest black marlin Australia has seen in more than 30 years was weighed in Hervey Bay.
The gigantic 649kg fish was caught after a two-hour battle yesterday afternoon by Rob Crane aboard the 76ft Viking Boat Too Easy.
Less than 5kg off the world record, the marlin was so large it had to be winched by crane from the Gold Coast fishing crew's boat to the Urangan Slipway.
The almost 650kg prize catch was caught on a $10 homemade lure east of Lady Musgrave Island.
Mr Crane regaled using a 130-pound line and a technique mastered over 20 years to hook the fish about 2pm on Thursday.
"We got her to the boat by 4pm and we just tired her out, she just sort of gave up," he told Newscorp.
"She passed away very nicely and then we brought her on board which took an hour using the block and tackle winch system."
Mr Crane, who is from Sydney, explained he wasn't "about killing creatures".
"It was a fair fight, the chances of getting something like that on the line we used was all in the marlin's favour but we just got lucky," he said.
"We have caught big ones before and released them but when we got this one we just thought 'this is a once in 20 lifetimes thing'.
"Some people would ask why would you kill something like that? I'm not about killing creatures, this is an opportunity to show people how awesome these things are.
"I am all about supporting the marlin fishing fraternity because they put in a lot of effort in to make wonderful memories for people."
Hervey Bay Game Fishing Club president Brad Rocke said as a founding member of the club it was the biggest catch in the region for more than 20 years.
"Six years ago two of us caught 980 and 920 pound ones," he said.
"Now, I'm secretly wiping away tears because he has blown my record out of the water.
"This will definitely put us on the international map and is proof you can hook 1000 pound fish off the region's coast."
Mr Crane credited his team with the record game fish catch.
"When you are lucky enough to fish for them over the years, you get a technique and it is all about that and the combination of the boat driving and the crew," he said.
"We thought where can we catch some big fish? So we went to Cairns and it just wasn't what it used to be.
"We had a look on the charts and all the awesome areas are off Hervey Bay.
"This is our third shot and on the second day we got hooked up to this big one."