When Phillis Ridgeway jumped into the fighting chair of her husband Jack Rounick’s sport fishing boat, she thought she was about to tangle with a swordfish. Its radiant blue sheen made it clear, however, that what she had sighted was a very rare blue marlin.
In his “FISHING” column for The Daily News, sportswriter Jerry Kenney interviewed Phillis Ridgeway 25 years after her historic catch: “All hell broke loose, “ said Phyllis. “The fish crashed on that bait and I hung on while it peeled out line. An instant later it exploded through the surface and tail-walked over those waves like a helicopter.” After fighting for 90 minutes, “her sword was mightier,” said Kenney. The 328-pound marlin was mounted, hung in the Deep Sea Club, and then took pride of place at Salivar’s. Last year a woman came into the Montauk Library describing a record-setting fish caught by her mother that was hanging in her basement. Could it be the same fish?
In an obituary that appeared on the Outdoor Writers Association of America website, Jerry Kenny’s son remembered a favorite quote of his father’s: “Lots of little fish just make you tired, but one big fish gives you cause to celebrate and provides stories for a lifetime.” This photograph and the newspaper column written by Kenney were donated to the Archives by Victoria Rudolph.