Record Marlin Reeled in in Cabo San Lucas
September 26, 2011 Giant marlin catches were more common decades ago. With increased sportfishing and the loss to by-catch of commercial fishing a tournament winning fish can be around 300-400 pounds nowadays. it has been many years since most anglers can remember a catch over 800 pounds. But this fish tale of a 1213lb whopper proves that some of them still live to become huge. We are certain these lucky fishermen's only regret is that they didn't reel it in during the Bisbee Tournament!
By Capt. George Landrum of the Fly Hooker
I received a phone call from Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly asking me if I had heard about a big marlin caught just outside of the Gorda Banks area. He said he had received a call from a Captain that had heard of a fish estimated to weigh around 1,300 pounds that had been fought all night long and was being brought in to the Cabo Marina.
I hadn’t heard a thing at that time but promised to go and check it out at the weigh station. As I was getting into the truck to head over I started receiving calls from other people about the reported large fish and proceeded to make some calls of my own. Assuming that the fish would be pulled and weighed over at the station by the Marine Base I headed over there. A bit early, I started talking with a few other people standing around and discovered that two of the ladies I was talking with were the wives of the anglers who were supposed to have caught this big fish.
They had sent them off on the the morning of the 24th for a 8 hour charter on the 33′ Blackfin sport fisherman ”Go Deep” with a light lunch and high hopes. The anglers, Richard Biehl and Tom Miller were experienced anglers who had been looking for a big marlin for years and had planned this trip based on reports about fishing in the month of September. Their fingers were crossed that it would happen on this trip! Around 9AM the girls received a phone call that the boys had hooked up a big fish and were into the fight an hour, and it might take a while. There was no way for them to know just how long it would be at that stage of the fight. The last call the ladies received was around 1PM with the story that the fish was really big and they were still fighting it.
The ladies were expecting the guys back in around 4PM and were worried when they did not hear from them again. They went to the marina in the evening to see if anyone had heard from the boat only to get the word that they were still hooked up and were staying out to fight the fish.
Around noon on the 25th they received a call from the Captain of the boat that they were on the way in and it was a “big one”. They thought the fish would be brought in by the Marine Base as well but as the “Go Deep” came into the marina escorted by a small fleet of charter boats they continued on past, going toward the Marina offices instead. I called the captain on the cell phone to confirm that was where they were going and then asked the ladies if they would like a ride over. Sure was better than walking, and they as well as several other hopped into the truck and off we went.
“Go Deep” stopped by their slip to grab some extra muscle and by the time they arrived at the hanging rack at the marina office there was quite a crowd waiting for them. Once the boat arrived it took a while to get the fish up the ramp and to the weigh in area, and it took a lot of guys to assist!
Richard and Tom were watching the fish start it’s progress up the ramp. When Richard managed to get up top I asked a few questions and found that he had been on the fish for 20 hours and Tom had fought the last 8 hours, they had run out of food and drink but they were not about to give up! The crew were as dedicated as the anglers and determined to get the fish in. Since they had left with a full load of fuel that was not an issue. They had been fishing out in the deep water far outside of the Gorda Banks, pulling lures when the fish came in and crashed one.
The hook-up occurred at 8:10 in the morning and while they knew they were in for a fight, they did not think it would be that long! It looked to be 50 pound test line with a #300 leader on the lure so it is no wonder the fight took so long and very lucky for them that the fish did not wear through the leader. After fighting the fish all night, the fight continued once the sun rose above the horizon. It was not until noon that the crew was able to place the gaff that secured the prize marlin to the boat. A little while longer and they had the fish mostly into the boat through the transom door with half it’s back end and tail still in the water. Exhausted but jubilant the captain radioed in that they were headed home!
After a lot of effort and maneuvering the fish was raised and the electronic scale hooked up. The scale registered a weight of 855 pounds, a lot less than everyone had expected, and a whole lot less than had been bandied about prior to the fish arriving. After weighing the scale was zeroed out, or at least it was tried. It appeared that there was a problem! The scale could not be zeroed and had not been certified so there was only one way to get an accurate estimate. Measurements were taken, and taken again. Applying the basic formula of Length x Girth squared divided by 800 the weight of the Marlin came to 1213 pounds with a + or – of 10%. (136.5 x (75.5 x 75.5)/800).
After the measurements were taken and the revised weight announced the crowd moved in. Two exhausted but very happy anglers were ready for a few cold ones and a good meal after that, and had finally managed to get the “big one” they had dreamed of!
For regular fishing reports and more information on Los Cabos fishing Captain George is a long time friend of the BajaInsider and a well respected figure in the Cabo Sport Fishing Industry. Check out his blog here.