But that didn't faze the fortunate 47-year-old first-timer, who caught a 335.7-pound halibut on July 2 that will likely win her the $15,000 top prize in the 2011 Valdez Halibut Derby.
Gutierrez joined her fiance, Steve Perkins, who works the same schedule as a heavy equipment operator, for a day on the water with Perkins' hunting buddy, Mike Chambers, who owns a boat.
What the novice angler did was catch the second-biggest halibut ever caught in the 25-year history of the famous flatfish derby--discounting the 363.4-pounder that was disqualified last year because the angler who caught it, George Levasseur, had help reeling it in, a rule that has since been changed.
Gutierrez's fish measured 87.5 inches in length, almost two feet taller than the 5-foot, 6-inch angler who hooked it. It weighed a whopping 142.3 pounds more than the fish it replaced atop the derby leader board.
"Oh my God, it was huge," she said. "It was insane to get such a very big fish my first time."