Blue marlin tournaments became very popular in St. Thomas after John Battles set an all-tackle world record in 1964. He landed an 814-pound Blue marlin, which enticed anglers from all over the world to try their luck in V.I. waters.
Blue Marlin World Record
On Aug 6, 1977, another world record was set!
Larry Martin from Pompano Beach, Florida caught a Blue marlin over 14 feet long! He was a mate aboard the fishing cruiser, Xiphias out of Black's Lagoon Fishing Center in Estate Frydenhoj.
The marlin he caught weighed 1,282 pounds! Larry used 130-pound test line to reel in the incredible catch.
Catching the Blue Marlin
When he was interviewed, he said he fought the fish for roughly 45 minutes and spent another 35 minutes trying to get it in the boat. Two mates from another boat had to assist him. They were fishing in the waters north of St. Thomas.
Our uncle took us to the marina on several occasions to see these catches as the boats returned to the dock.
I can remember vividly, the excitement and awe I felt as we joined hundreds to get a glimpse of these incredible sea creatures. Today, a tag and release system is in place to protect the species.
The all tackle world record was held for fifteen years until an angler in Brazil caught a 1,402-pound marlin in 1992.
For those interested in seeing Larry's marlin, it's part of a new exhibit at the Cyril E. King airport on St. Thomas.
Copyright © 2016 Valerie Sims. All Rights Reserved.