Angler Kevin Gardner caught the fish of a lifetime last week when fishing off Ascension Island in the South Atlantic Ocean, a spot known for producing 1,000-pound blue marlin.
After only a three-hour battle, Gardner landed a 1,320-pound blue marlin, the second-biggest ever taken off Ascension Island. It was also believed to have been the sixth-biggest marlin ever taken by rod and reel.
The IGFA all-tackle world record for Atlantic blue marlin is 1,402 pounds caught off Brazil in 1992. The IGFA all-tackle world record for Pacific blue marlin is 1,376 pounds.
Harmattan skipper Olaf Grimkowski reported on his Facebook page that the fish hit around 1:30 p.m. at the southwest side of the island.
"In the distance, we saw her lunging and she looked promising," he wrote.
"After three surface runs she went a bit deeper and for the last 90 minutes Kevin fought her [into the] sunset."
Gardner got the fish to the boat four times and four times wireman Emil Ruud had to let go of the leader. Finally, after three hours, Ruud, wiring his first marlin, managed to leader the fish, and it was gaffed.
The scale master reported the fish weighing 1,320 pounds and measuring 149 inches from the tip of the lower jaw to the inner fork of the tale with a girth of 83 inches.
"We had a pretty slow season until now when it comes to marlin fishing, but it seems to be true that when you have a long hard time, you are saving up for something special," Grimkowski wrote. "Well, we had our special day today."
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