Although they are the smallest of the world’s marlin species, whites are wily predators, among the most acrobatic of any billfish species and worthy opponents on light tackle. In late 2018, several record white marlin were landed in Morocco and Portugal.
Leo Cloostermans and Ibrahim Elouafi teamed up with Capt. Stuart Simpson to fish for ultralight records on Capri-1 out of Mohammedia, Morocco, in late August and early September. First up was Elouafi, catching a 114.5-pound white marlin on 4-pound-test line. If approved, it will beat the previous record caught in 1990 by more than 26 pounds. Cloostermans scored the next record a few days later, landing a 93.5-pound white marlin on 2-pound-test line. The previous mark had stood since 1986.
Simpson says, “To put it into terms of how good the fishing was, consider this: After breaking off fish after fish, Leo and Ibrahim re-spooled new 2-pound-test line onto their reels for the fifth time that morning. While this was happening, I could see at least three to five white marlin free-swimming next to the boat as I waited patiently at the helm for them to finish gearing up.”
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In early October, record chasers Gary and Sherrell Carter headed to the Algarve region of southern Portugal on their 45-foot G&S, Silver-Rod-O, in hopes of also setting new white marlin records. Sherrell landed an incredible 105.7-pounder on 2-pound-test, then followed up the next day with a 98.6-pound white marlin on 8-pound-test. The team of Yoan Alcala, Marty Bates, Adrian DeSilva and Brad Batterton adds this pair of IGFA marks to Gary Carter’s pending 20-pound-test blue marlin record caught off Madeira earlier in the season.