Pending Ladies World Record Blue Marlin Caught in Madeira

If approved, the fish would narrowly defeat the existing 12-pound-test mark

No stranger to light-tackle billfish records, Sherrell Carter could add another line-class IGFA record with this 356-pound blue marlin.Courtesy Gary and Sherrell Carter

In 2016, Gary and Sherrell Carter sent their beloved 45-foot G&S Silver-Rod-O to Madeira in the Atlantic Ocean. They returned for the season this summer, chasing world-record blue marlin on light tackle. Longtime Silver-Rod-O captain, Yoan Alcala, was at the helm and veteran deckhands Andy Dow and Yefry Garcia manned the teaser rods in the cockpit.

On June 21, Sherrell fought an estimated 500-pound blue marlin for 3 1/2 hours, but the leader remained just out of Dow’s reach. The fish finally broke off during an aggressive run near the boat. The team spent the following day trolling the calm Madeiran waters without seeing a fish. Alcala had turned the boat toward Marina Calheta when a nice blue marlin crashed the right long teaser at 5:45 p.m. Alcala called for the 12-pound-test outfit as Garcia masterfully teased in the fish. Sherrell fed the pitch bait and hooked up on what Gary called “a beautiful inside-out bite.”

Carter admires her catch once it was secured in the cockpit.Courtesy Gary and Sherrell Carter

The fish ran down and away from the boat while Alcala gave chase, hoping to stay close in case the marlin surfaced and gave them an early shot at the leader. In less than five minutes, the marlin came up and gave the team its shot: Dow was able to get a solid wrap as Garcia sunk the first gaff and Gary followed with a second. After a short run of less than a half-mile to the marina, they weighed the fish, which tipped the certified scales at 356 pounds. If approved by the IGFA, it will narrowly eclipse the current ladies 12-pound-test record of 350 pounds, set by Fonda Huizinga in 1999.

The happy team at Marina Calheta in Madeira.Courtesy Gary and Sherrell Carter
The Carters shipped Silver-Rod-O, their 45-foot G&S, to Madeira in 2016 in order to chase world records throughout the region.Courtesy Gary and Sherrell Carter