Catches of Note

Dueling Grander Marlin off Bermuda


Two blue marlin over 1,100 pounds were hooked in the space of 20 minutes off Bermuda in July. The first fish fell to Captain Alan Card’s Challenger with Bermuda native Cummings Zuill in the chair. Zuill, a retired bank executive, fought the fish for two hours and reported it came to the boat near death. A crane was needed to weigh the enormous fish, which tipped the scales at 1,199 pounds.

The second marlin, hooked moments later on the Argus Bank on Captain Allen DeSilva’s, De Mako, saw 19-year-old New Jersey resident Justin North in the fighting chair. With his father Stan snapping pictures, the college student put the brakes on the huge fish and brought it boatside in one hour and 40 minutes where it was tagged and released. DeSilva estimated the fish’s length at over 13 feet and its weight at between 1,200 and 1,300 pounds!

The Bermuda record for blue marlin is 1,352 pounds, but no one can remember two granders being caught in a day, never mind at the same time.

Campaign to List White Marlin as Endangered Species Gains Steam

A Colorado-based non-profit organization filed a formal petition with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) last summer to place white marlin on the endangered species list. The Biodiversity Legal Foundation and fisheries biologist James Chambers cited 30 years of commercial fishing with non-selective gear, such as longlines and gillnets, and the common belief that the stock had declined to just 13 percent of its sustainable level.

"In the greatest danger of extinction are white marlin whose population is extremely low and declining rapidly," said Chambers. The petition calls for white marlin to be listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and also for immediate action—such as closure of white marlin spawning and feeding areas to commercial fishing—to prevent the species from becoming extinct.

But not everyone agrees with this strategy. Ellen Peel of The Billfish Foundation believes that science-based international fishery management offers stronger prospects for restoration of marlin stocks than national "protective species" measures such as the ESA. "While there is no doubt that the species is seriously overfished," said Peel, "unilateral action under the ESA would only exert additional restraints on U.S. fisheries and have no impact on foreign high-seas longline vessels, which are the source of the problem. Other nations, which kill most of the marlin, will realize that U.S. negotiators are controlled by the ESA, which has no international authority, and the negotiating strength of the U.S. will be weakened." NMFS had 90 days to make a preliminary ruling on the petition.


SWS Seminar Series Gives Away Super Grand Prize Mako

Jim Plath of Holmes Beach, Florida, had plenty of fisherman's luck with him the day the drawing was held for the Salt Water Sportsman National Seminar Series Super Grand Prize: a 17-foot Mako center console. Craig Rich, marketing director of Mako Marine, and SWS's George Poveromo drew Plath's name from a cooler containing the names of several thousand anglers who had attended the 2001 tour. Plath fishes his home waters for snook, redfish, trout and tarpon, and he attended the seminar in Sarasota, Florida, on January 27. The Seminar Series Edition Mako 171 was outfitted by the Series' sponsors, right down to the FLOAT-ON trailer. "I was shocked and amazed!" said Plath. "I've never won anything of any value before. This was a very pleasant surprise." The National Seminar Series will celebrate its 15th anniversary in 2002 and promises to provide valuable fishing information, as well as prizes, including chances to win fishing trips to the Bahamas and another Super Grand Prize Mako 171, powered by a 90-horsepower four-stroke Honda outboard and delivered on a FLOAT-ON trailer. For more information about seminar dates and locations or to order tickets, call (800) 448-7360 or visit