1241 lbs Super Grander

1241 lbs or 563 kg atl. Blue Marlin catch of Cape Verde / São Vicente on september 24th, 2006:

  •  length over all, (the tip of it’s bill was broken in earlier years), 458 cm
  •  short length was 378 cm
  •  girth was 220 cm
  •  Angler: Barry Silleman
  •  Capt: Berno Niebuhr
  •  Boat: Happy Hooker 1

Super Grander 1241 lbs

We had 4 dutch clients on the boat, all were 65 years or older, so the first angler sat down in the chair, but gave up 15 minutes later and his friend, Barry Silleman, took over. he runs a gym and made a really good job on this fish ! We were fishing lures on 80 pounds rod and reels spooled with 130 lbs line for some extra safety which payed out on this fish again. please don’t ask me, what made the lure was; I don’t know, I have not even seen that damned lure ! I only know it was a big resin head, pink coloured. One of my deckies got that thing from somebody the day before and rigged it up and put it out in the spread without showing me what he braught to the boat !! Guess he was afraid I would have said »No!, that bloody ugly old thing I don’t want to see in my spread, I want to catch fish and not scare them!« Anyhow, we cut the lure off after we had gaffed the marlin and tied her up alongside the boat, so nobody will ever know… But finally that “pink thing” did its work!
When I first saw that Blue under the boat two hours after hook-up, we had almost the double line knot up, I told my boys to prepare the flying gaffs, I was sure that fish was much better than a 1000 …
Remember I only brought 3 Grander to the docks here in Cape Verde so far; my very first one in 1998 a 1093 pounder, another one that died tailroped with 1024 lbs (still alive I would have released it as 850 to 900 lbs) and this one with 1241 lbs now. But I caught and released at least a handfull more, including one Blue last year that was even bigger than this last one! I cannot count how many more we lost during the last 9 years here, due to most of them died and we were not able to bring them up ! Once we fought one for almost 5 hours and broke the 130 lbs line when the dead fish was as close up to the surface at approx 50 meters …
Still we had no chance to grab the leader, but after some more tries, we got hold of the leader first time and got her up to the surface. My crewman are not experienced in gaffing fish, as everybody knows that I tag & release almost all the billfish we catch. So we missed her on the first try and had to drop the leader. Still she was swimming just 15 meters under the boat and with the help of the anglers fingers giving some extra pressure on the reel, suddenly the rod broke with a loud »crack«! But luckily the blue stayed connected, and the line did not broke. We connected the »fish-extractor« to a second rod and let it down to the fish, which was still close and I could see her. With that rod connected to the leader now and the help of one of the mates on the line of the broken rod we managed to bring her up again, but had to drop the leader again for several times. Having those big fish on the leader, even if you cannot bring them up, just holding them and still following them backwards with the boat, they become really tired trying to swim away from the boat, but the pressure on them exhausts them. So a few tries later she showed »white« and that was what I was waiting for. This time we set one gaff, than the second and the third, the fish was safe. The biggest blue officially weighted in in Cape Verde ever so far! And I guess the biggest one this year (so far) worldwide caught by rod and reel, even if not caught by IGFA rules.
Tight lines,
Berno