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The Big Five: Largest Marlin and Swordfish IGFA World Records

The heaviest world records for blue, black and striped marlin and swordfish

April 24, 2020

The numbers are impressive, and some may stand forever: the International Game Fish Association’s coveted All-Tackle World Records for black marlin, Pacific and Atlantic blue marlin, striped marlin and swordfish. The timing is also interesting, with two caught in the 1950s, two more in the 1980s and one in 1992.

Black Marlin

Black Marlin, Alfred Glassell, Jr.
Black Marlin, Alfred Glassell, Jr. Courtesy IGFA

On August 4, 1953, Alfred Glassell, Jr. solidified one of the greatest catches in the history of sport fishing. The largest marlin ever landed on rod and reel in accordance with IGFA rules was caught in Cabo Blanco, Peru, aboard Petrel, skippered by Stirling Stuart. The world record catch weighed 1,560 pounds and measured 14 feet, 6 inches in length and had a girth of 6 feet, 9 inches. Glassell was trolling a cero mackerel as bait and landed the record black marlin after a fight lasting one hour and 45 minutes. He used a Tycoon rod with a size 12/0 Fin-Nor reel and 39-thread Ashaway line.

Atlantic Blue Marlin

Atlantic Blue Marlin, Paolo Roberto Amorim
Atlantic Blue Marlin, Paolo Roberto Amorim Courtesy IGFA

On February 29, 1992, Paolo Roberto Amorim set the IGFA All-Tackle Atlantic blue marlin record with an incredible 1,402-pound, 2-ounce specimen he landed in Vitoria, Brazil. On a day that only comes around once every four years—a leap year—he landed a once in a lifetime fish. The heaviest blue marlin ever recorded by the IGFA was tricked into biting a Mold Craft lure and was landed after a one-hour, twenty-minute fight. Amorim used a Captain Harry’s rod and an 80 STW Penn International reel and was the captain of the 30-foot Duda Mares.

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Read Next: When (if ever) is it acceptable to kill a marlin? Five pros sound off.

Pacific Blue Marlin

Pacific Blue Marlin, Jay de Beaubien
Pacific Blue Marlin, Jay de Beaubien Courtesy IGFA

On May 31, 1982, Jay de Beaubien caught the largest Pacific blue marlin ever recorded—1,376 pounds—to set the IGFA All-Tackle World Record for the species. De Beaubien was trolling a Kita lure around Kaaiwi Point, Hawaii, and landed the record marlin in 40 minutes. He was using an Erskine rod with a 12/0 Fin-Nor reel and was fishing aboard the 43-foot Merritt, No Problem, skippered by Bobby Brown.

Watch: A Spanish mackerel is one of the world’s top marlin baits. Here’s how to rig one.

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Swordfish

Swordfish, Louis E. Marron
Swordfish, Louis E. Marron Courtesy IGFA

On May 7, 1953, Louis E. Marron set the IGFA All-Tackle World Record with an incredible 1,182-pound swordfish. He was fishing in Iquique, Chile, with his wife, Genie, aboard Flying Heart III skippered by Capt. Eddie Wall. Marron landed the record swordfish in just under two hours after it struck a trolled bonito. His tackle consisted of a Black Palm rod and 12/0 Fin-Nor Reel with 39-thread Cortland Super Cutty line.

Watch: The Bonito Taco is one of the most durable swordfish baits. Learn to rig it here.

Striped Marlin

Striped Marlin, Bill Boniface
Striped Marlin, Bill Boniface Courtesy IGFA

On January 16, 1986, Bill Boniface set the IGFA All-Tackle World Record when he caught a 494-pound striped marlin. Boniface was trolling a kahawai around Tutukaka, New Zealand, and fought the record fish for an hour. He was fishing with a Wilkinson Sports rod and a Penn International reel spooled with 50-pound-test line. Malcom Jackson was the captain of the 38-foot Diadema that brought the record marlin back to shore. Learn more about striped marlin

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