This year has been strong for big marlin all over the world: As of November 25, 2017, 21 marlin over 1,000 pounds, known as granders, have been caught worldwide so far this year by recreational anglers, according to GranderWatch. All of the information about each catch and photos are from GranderWatch.com.
The first was caught off Cape Vidal, South Africa, aboard Eye-Tie. Capt. Roberto Fierro and angler Bully de Ricqueberg caught a blue marlin that measured 148 inches in length, with an 82-inch girth and a 24-inch tail stump. They estimated the fish to weigh 1,245 pounds. Unfortunately, the marlin came up dead and was not boated.
The second grander was a 1,097-pound blue marlin caught on February 16, 2017, by Jose Pires, fishing out of Lobito, Angola. Capt. Sergio Reis on Rotian, a 25-foot, twin-outboard boat, led Pires to the catch the 146-inch fish. The marlin had a girth of 76 inches. He caught the fish on 50-pound-class tackle standing up for over four hours.
Reis says, “The fish was caught on a Portuguese lure called a Fronteira Leao, with small birds rigged in front of it as a daisy chain. Interestingly, one week later, we had another big fish around 1,100 pounds in the same area on the same lure, but we lost the fish.”
Angler Wade Wilson, fishing with Capt. John Giford on Hot Lips, caught the third grander of the year off Ahipara, New Zealand. The fish hit a Red Gill Kohi lure on 80-pound-class tackle and weighed 1,027 pounds. It was the first blue marlin for Wilson and the second-largest blue marlin ever weighed in New Zealand.
An Iland Express lure produced the fourth thousand-pound fish of the year for Capt. Benjamin Ladouceur and South African angler Chris Session, fishing in Mauritius on Zazou 2. Their blue marlin weighed 1,055 pounds and was landed in two hours and 40 minutes.
The fifth grander of the year was caught by Capt. Clement Golaz and Johan Mikkelsen on Nola off the Azores. The blue marlin weighed 1,064 pounds. The fish was hooked up about a mile north of Faial.
The sixth grander of the year was caught off Cairns, Australia. Capt. Billy Billson and Andy Dow on Viking II weighed a 1,117-pound black marlin, adding another massive black marlin to Cairns’ history.
The Great Barrier Reef continues to produce big fish. This black marlin was caught off Port Douglas, Australia, by Capt. Sharky Miles on Levante. The fish weighed 1,111 pounds and was caught on the Linden Bank.
No. 8 goes to Capt. Daniel McCarthy, of Moana III. He released a 1,000-pound black marlin in the first hour of the first day fishing off Australia in 2017.
Off Lizard Island, Australia, Capt. Haydon Bell released a black marlin topping 1,000 pounds. He was fishing on the Kanahoee and Mike Tarmey was on the leader.
Another one for Australia, this one was caught off Cairns by Capt. Mark Parkinson on Black Label.
Fishing off Cairns, Capt. Luke Fallon released an estimated 1,100-pound black marlin while fishing from the Kekoa.
The crew fishing aboard Annette weighed a 1,005-pound black marlin, the 12th grander marlin of the year, caught off Madagascar.
No. 13 is not shown because the photograph is not large enough. Capt. Tim Richardson, fishing from Tradition, caught and released the black marlin off Cooktown, Australia. He estimates it weighed 1,100 pounds.
The crew fishing aboard Absolute struck gold off Lizard Island, Australia, where it caught a 1,188-pound black marlin.
‘Tis the season. The fishing off Australia stayed hot — with noteworthy catches popping up consistently. The crew fishing from Dreamin’ On caught a 1,035-pound black marlin, the second grander of the year off Cooktown, Australia.
No. 16 is not shown because the photograph is not good enough in quality. Capt. Daniel McCarthy of Moana III released a black marlin estimated at 1,200 pounds. He and the crew also deployed a satellite tag into the fish.
Capt. Duarte Rato with two mates, fishing from Vamizi, released a 1,100-pound black marlin off Bazaruto, Mozambique. Angler Andrew Carrick did the winding and got the fish to the boat after a 100-minute fight. The fish ate a blue and white Iland Express.
We head back to Australia for No. 18. The crew fishing aboard Hellraiser II released this black marlin, estimated at 1,000 pounds, off Cairns.
Capt. Mark Parkinson and the Black Label crew caught and released their second black marlin of 2017 weighing more than 1,000 pounds.
Fishing off Cairns, a common location for catching the year’s biggest marlin, Capt. Ross Finlayson found a 1,128-pound black marlin. He was fishing from Top Shot and angler Rick Gay brought the fish to the boat.
The last 1,000-pound fish caught in 2017 was off Abidjan, Ivory Coast. The photograph was not large enough or good enough quality to be included. Stephane Millez, fishing from Black Pearl, and angler Jean Paul Bonnin caught the 1,041-pound blue marlin after a 40-minute fight. The crew tried to revive the fish but couldn’t. The marlin had a 19.6-inch tail.