It's blue marlin season off Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii, and the hunt for prized but elusive "granders" has intensified now that the season's first 1,000-pound specimen has been caught.
The enormous billfish was landed on May 13 by angler Garrett Handwork aboard Monkey Biz II, skippered by Chip van Mols.
It tipped the scale at 1,062 pounds and was subdued after a surprisingly short fight of about 20 minutes.
Hawaii Fishing News posted the catch on its list of granders with the comment: "After a boating his first mahimahi, a long day of trolling on the Grounds eventually produced a strike on an Aloha Lures "Smash" on the short corner by a 1062-lb Pacific blue marlin -- Garrett's first marlin and Capt. Van Mols' third Kona grander."
Hawaii's largest recorded grander is an 1,805-pound monster blue caught off Oahu in 1971. That fish was landed by multiple anglers and did not qualify for recognition as an International Game Fish Assn. record.
The IGFA's all-tackle world record for Pacific blue marlin is a 1,376-pound specimen landed off Kona by Jay de Beaublen on May 31, 1982.
For the sake of comparison, the all-tackle record for Atlantic blue marlin is a 1,402-pound, 2-ounce specimen landed off Vitoria, Brazil by Paulo Amorim on Feb. 29, 1992.
-- Image: Angler Garrett Handwork (with fishing rod) poses alongside 1,062-pound blue marlin caught recently off Kona aboard Monkey Biz II. Credit: The Charter Desk