Big Oh Tops 1,500 Blue Marlin

Ingram and Fields reach an incredible milestone

Gray Ingram (left) and Capt. Ronnie Fields celebrate a memorable milestone: 1,500 blue marlin releases on Big Oh.Courtesy Big Oh

If boats could talk, think of the stories they could tell. Imagine listening to Gray Ingram's 63-foot Ricky Scarborough Big Oh, which recently tallied her 1,500th blue marlin on March 21, 2017, while ­fishing out of Los Sueños, Costa Rica.

After a three-year build, Big Oh launched from the Scarborough yard in North Carolina in summer 2007 and headed straight to the fertile waters of Venezuela with Capt. Ronnie Fields at the helm, where the release numbers started ringing like an overactive cash register. Ingram and Fields then headed for St. Thomas the following summer, and the blues continued to crash the spread. They quickly passed 200 blue marlin releases before transiting the Panama Canal and heading for the Pacific Ocean, where Big Oh racked up releases in Panama, Costa Rica and Guatemala. A stint in Cape Verde from 2013 through 2015 produced the majority of their fish, though, with the team tallying more than 900 blue marlin in three short seasons, including Ingram's 1,254-pounder. He released his 1,000th personal blue marlin off Cape Verde near the end of the 2015 season.

"Probably 98 percent of our marlin are caught on bait-and-switch," Ingram says. "I love to see the bite, and I'm not a big fan of pulling lures. If I can't see the bite, I don't want to crank them in." Big Oh is currently based in Los Sueños, Costa Rica, where her tally of marlin and sailfish ­continues to climb.