When most construction workers wake up at the crack of dawn, ready for a hard day’s physical labor ahead, the last thing they expect to find is a real-life sea monster. The team building exercise was only meant to be a bit of fun after all.
However, these particular construction workers certainly pulled off a lot more than they could chew on this specific day – and you can take that literally…
The year was 1921, when brothers Jack, Bert, and Jim Goodfellow decided it was time to found their very own construction company. In those days, the agricultural lands of Wenatchee, Washington were considered very lucrative as a business option.
The Goodfellows got their first big break some years later when they were contracted for the first ever excavation of the Grand Coulee Dam. The Grand Coulee Dam is a concrete gravity dam located on the Columbia River, Washington. Originally intended to produce hydroelectric power and to provide irrigation water. The project was a big one and would require a lot of hard work, but it was well worth it…
All that hard work in the early days really paid off for the brothers, and their solid reputation proceeded them for decades to come. Mainly focusing on road projects across the mountains and valleys of central Washington, the company soon became an industry leader.
The brothers soon branched out into the fishing industry, building fisheries and wildlife habitats, as well as golf courses, bridges, harbors and even huge dams. As the company proudly boast on their website, “Nine decades later, we are proud to carry on this enduring legacy, one that is firmly rooted in the principles of trust, professionalism and high-quality work. For nearly a century, GBI has transformed regions across North America and abroad.”
Coast of Kauai
The Goodfellows always had a strong work ethic, which they carried on within the family business until this day. A few times a year the company takes its employees on team building vacations in order to build morale, and these trips are usually very successful. But this year, just off the coast of Kauai, Hawaii, the trip would be a little different, and a whole lot more special.
It was a calm and peaceful day off the coast as the summer sun beat down on the guys from the Goodfellows’ Construction Department. The crew was looking forward to a day of fishing ahead having had an early start. But nothing could prepare them for what was about to happen…
Nawiliwili Harbor is a small and picturesque spot on Hawaii’s stunning coastline, home to a small boat harbor, a cruise ship, and cargo commercial port, as well as the very exclusive Nawiliwili Yacht Club. Located just south of the Lihue Airport, the crew waited patiently for at least a few hours, but to no avail.
Blue Marlin fish are typically found in tropical and subtropical waters, around the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Often growing up to 12 feet long, these fish, with their deep cobalt blue and silvery white tones are any fisherman’s dream catch.
The men’s patience seemingly paid off when after many arduous hours, something began tugging on the line. From there, the men struggled collectively for an hour and a half to get whatever had taken the bait under control and onto the fishing boat. But was this even a fish? Could it be a legendary Blue Marlin after all?
They pulled and struggled, making their team-building trip a certain success no matter what the outcome of the catch of the day was. Their 50-foot boat could hardly cope with the huge sea creature, as the dedicated men tried to haul it closer to them. At one point the fish escaped, “going airborne” according to one of the crew before they control back.
Not intending to be beaten by whatever it was at the end of the line, the men doubled down and regained control of the fish. rumors started circulating among the crew, as some suggested they could see something blue under the water, but no one was sure.
Blue Marlins are distinctive for a number of reasons, with one of those reasons being because of their very pronounced dorsal fin and long, spear-shaped upper jaw. While female marlins are larger than males, they subsist almost exclusively on tuna which accounts for their large size to some degree…
The Goodfellow brothers were thrilled, not just because the team-building trip had been a resounding success, but also because they received a ton of free publicity. The crew pulled aboard a staggering 1,073 Ilb marlin which they fondly named the “Yamasaki Grander” after the boat’s captain, Steve Yamasaki.
The Goodfellows, not wanting to miss the opportunity for more publicity, took to Twitter to talk about the catch, “The Kauai Region crew set sail on a team building event and never thought they would end up reeling in a blue marlin weighing in at 1,073 lbs, now known as the “Yamasaki Grander” named after boat captain Steven Yamasaki. It was a team effort they will never forget!” they Tweeted…
One of the crew members responsible for the amazing catch was Tristan Gonzales, who spoke to reporters about the big day out. Gonzales said it was the largest fish he had ever personally seen let alone caught, “It looked like a sea monster!” He said, “I was just hoping the hook sank to give us a fighting chance to land this fish.”
The catch of the Blue Marlin is a great feat in itself, being the second largest caught in Kauai since records began. The largest Blue Marlin ever caught there was back in 1998, off the coast of Port Allen, when a 1,148-pounder smashed all the record books…
While these catches are impressive, and indeed record-breaking, there is one catch which smashes them all. The largest Blue Marlin ever caught on a rod and reel was back in 1971, by Capt. Cornelius Choy and his daughter Gail on the COREENE-C. That fish weighed an astonishing 1,805 lbs.”
Other Massive Fish
Interestingly, the biggest fish ever caught and approved as an IGFA world record happens to have been a white shark. A man named Alfred Dean caught the huge shark off the coast of Ceduna, Australia back in April 1959, and the record hasn’t been broken since. That shark weighed a scale-breaking 2,664 pounds!
As one social media follower noted, it appears as if this poor fish was at the right place at the right time to help these guys bond as a team, “This team building exercise is one for the record books! Amazing, almost like the poor marlin showed up just to teach these guys how to work together.” Said user wasps on the Fox News website.
No Fishing Tales
The Goodfellows brothers reached out the Honolulu Star-Advertiser with a statement which said, “This is one fishing trip that will live on in the record books and more so, in the memories of the crew. No fishing tales here…only the real thing…the unbelievable catch that did not get away! The Yamasaki Grander!”