World-Record White Marlin in Morocco

A 10-year-old captures a smallfry junior angler record

smallfry white marlin world record johan millez morocco
Mohammedia, Morocco, produces a world-record white marlin weighing 99.7 pounds for smallfry junior angler Johan Millez.Courtesy Jean Paul Bonin

Stephane Millez, director of PecheXtreme in France, is a very accomplished angler. He’s the 93rd member of the IGFA’s Billfish Royal Slam Club and also landed the ­second-largest blue marlin ever caught sport fishing in the Ivory Coast in 2010. On September 10, 2016, he was fishing with his son when a world-record billfish appeared in the spread. This is Stephane’s recap of that memorable day.

"I decided it was time to introduce my son, Johan Millez, to marlin fishing by heading to Morocco from our home in France. It would give us a chance to fish for white marlin there — our trip was just over a weekend, with only two days of fishing. We were set to fish on One More with Capt. Christian Benazeth.

smallfry white marlin world record johan millez morocco
Already an experienced offshore angler at just 10 years old, Johan Millez landed a pending smallfry junior angler white marlin while fishing with his father, Stephane, and Laurent Sahyoun.Courtesy Laurent Sayhoun

On Saturday, Johan caught his first white marlin around 10 a.m. He had released four whites by 1:15 in the afternoon, and the fifth fish looked quite nice after the bite, and we knew it was a really big white. During the fight, my friend, Laurent Sahyoun, learned that the existing white marlin record was 76.4 pounds.

When the marlin came close to the boat, we looked at it very carefully. It seemed bigger than the record, so for once, we decided to keep it. This is not a decision we made lightly — only something we did in consideration of a world record for my son, who turned 10 years old in October. We stopped fishing for the day and headed back to the weigh station with the fish as soon as possible. The fish weighed an amazing 99.7 pounds on the scale. He had done it: The world record was broken!

What a day for Johan: catching his first marlin ever and then landing a new world record. I guess I just turned a boy into a marlin fisherman!"

— As told to Sam White by Stephane Millez