Can Blue Marlin All-Tackle Records be Broken?

Four big-fish experts discuss chasing the world's largest blue marlin.

All-Tackle Atlantic Pacific Blue Marlin Records
Four big-fish experts discuss blue marlin all-tackle records.Courtesy

Q: Do you think the all-tackle records for Atlantic and Pacific blue marlin will ever be broken?

All-Tackle Atlantic Pacific Blue Marlin Records
Jada Holt Ladies all-tackle Atlantic blue marlin record holderCourtesy TBF

I do think both the men’s and women’s all-tackle blue marlin records will eventually fall. There have been blue marlin weighed in both the Atlantic and the Pacific that were larger than the existing records. Blues larger than 1,402 pounds are out there. Thankfully for me, the women’s all-tackle record for Pacific blue marlin stands at 998 pounds, which is a much less daunting task than one over 1,300 or 1,400 pounds. There hasn’t been one big enough to beat the men’s record of 1,376 pounds here in Kona since 1990, when there was a 1,400‑pound fish caught. Kona is due for one of those to show up again!

All-Tackle Atlantic Pacific Blue Marlin Records
Bomboy Llanes Captain and founder, Bomboy Big Game Fishing LuresCourtesy Bomboy Llanes

Hawaii has lots of big marlin in its history, like Bart Miller’s 1,656-pound blue, Harry Grace’s 1,660-pounder and [Cornelius] Choy’s monster 1,805-pound fish. My ­grandfather, Sabas Llanes, used his hand line to catch a 988‑pound blue marlin from his 19-foot canoe. The marlin swallowed a 50-pound yellowfin tuna he had on the line. In 2003, I caught a 1,258.5‑pound blue marlin in the Firecracker Tournament; my second grander, which weighed 1,041.5 pounds, was caught in November 2014. It’s just a matter of time before the all-tackle records are broken.

All-Tackle Atlantic Pacific Blue Marlin Records
Richard Richardson Texas state blue marlin record holderCourtesy Richard Richardson

I do believe that both Paulo Amorim’s 1,402‑pound Atlantic blue marlin record and Jay de Beaubien’s 1,376‑pound Pacific blue marlin record will be broken. Bigger boats are traveling to more exotic locales in both oceans, which will give more anglers more shots at bigger fish that have never seen a hook. We have better tackle and techniques, crews and anglers, which tip the advantage in our favor. More crews are perfecting their live-baiting techniques and are targeting big blue marlin than ever before with incredible hookup ratios. There are also more anglers specifically targeting extra-large marlin every day all around the world. It’s not if it’s going to happen, but when.

All-Tackle Atlantic Pacific Blue Marlin Records
Roddy Hays Captain and founder, Legend LuresCourtesy Roddy Hays

Absolutely! Despite the constant pressure on fish stocks from commercial fishing and especially long-lining, I think the development of boats, electronics and tackle have all increased anglers’ chances of landing huge fish, well beyond what was ever thought possible 20 or 30 years ago. Couple this with the increased effectiveness of the long-range fishing scene, both by individuals and by charter fishing operations, and I think it is almost a certainty that at some stage these records will be broken. Huge fish are being seen, hooked and lost by some very good crews every year. One of these giants will come to the boat eventually.