Photos/Video: 1289lb Blue Marlin Caught

May 30, 2012

[Updated] Dozens of people lined the PW dock on Front Street, after a visiting group aboard the “Seafari” reeled in a 1289lb Blue Marlin this afternoon [May 30].

Well known local fisherman Alan Card was aboard the 70-foot Betram assisting as a local guide, and said it was the largest blue marlin he had personally seen caught in his career.


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The 15-foot-long fish had a 4.5-foot-long tailspan, and took 4 hours to land with everyone aboard the boat assisting, and the fish dying before it was landed. The fish was caught on the south-east side of Argus Bank this afternoon.

The “Seafari” is a visiting boat from the United States, with over a dozen visitors aboard. The owner Rich Davies, a native South African who makes his home in North Carolina, said it was also the biggest fish he had ever caught.

This was the first time the “Seafari” has visited Bermuda, and today was only their second day fishing. The boat spends most its time in Florida, and also travels up and down the East Coast and to the Bahamas.

The Captain also said this was also the biggest fish he has ever caught, with the next largest a 1100lb fish caught in the Pacific ocean off Hawaii.

He said today’s catch gave him both “his Pacific and Atlantic” big fish, prompting Bermudians present to jokingly point out that Bermuda topped the charts.

Boat owner Mr Davies thanked God for the catch, and said in a nod to the big catch there will be a donation made to an orphanage in Zululand in his native South Africa.

He called it a “wonderful day” in Bermuda, and had words of praise for local fisherman Alan Card who served as the group’s local guide.

A photo gallery of the fish being cut up is here on Picasa, and a video of it being chopped up can be viewed here on Youtube. Viewer discretion is advised for those not used to, or dislike, the sight of fish being cut up.

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  1. What a beast.... - California Fishing - Hookup Sportfishing | May 31, 2012
  1. Mbaya Avunaye says:

    I hope this fish is edible. If not what a shameful waste.

    • IGNORANCE says:

      The name of the boat says it all.

    • yesterday says:

      Its a sign of misused wealth and decadence. Look back at pictures of the 70s or earlier of Bermuda and you wouldnt see this kind of obesity.

      • Red Appletalk says:

        and what would you call the whale slaughtering back then?

      • Me says:

        You mean the people or the fish?!

      • Fish R Man says:

        Um fishing technology was not that good back then…you can’t compare because if it was then I guarantee you that they would have caught them.

      • Concerned Citizen says:

        Misused wealth? The real wealth and priveledge that has accrued over the years, that many CAVE bloggers have inherited, came from exploiting the earth and it’s people. Sooooooo, before you bitch and moan, give some of your inheritance back, or donate it to a worthy cause. Can’t stand people who try to remove others freedom to enjoy their life. Please, crawl bak into your cave, damn idiots. Oh, and stop eating fish, and all other meat that gets slaughtered.

        • Kathy says:

          The point is NOT that all fish should not be killed and all sport fishing should be stopped. The point is that the Bermuda Government should protect it’s own resources by preventing game fishing during peak periods of spawning. Anyone who does not understand this simple argument just simply doesn’t give a *@#& about our planet. It’s all about me, right here and right now!!

          • bill says:

            that’. an awsome fish congrats to the seafari . The fish came up dead , otherwise they would have let it go . these are responsible and professional fisherman and if it were possible to set the fish free I’m sure they would have as they have done many many times before . As for not fishing for during spawning season , well , that’s like planting corn in the winter. Why do you think fishermen fish anywhere for anything at any certain time. It’s becouse they are whereever they are at that time. Don’t want to fish for marlin when they are in Bermuda ?

      • lalalalalong says:

        *obscenity

    • allcloggedup says:

      Disgusting

  2. David Semos says:

    Don’t see the need to kill the large breeding fish when you can catch and release.

    • Truth (original) says:

      This poor fella died of exhaustion.

  3. Bermudian In London says:

    What a magnificent fish. How sad that it was caught and murdered just for sport. They don’t taste well so its only use will be as bait – what a waste!

    • Me says:

      They do taste good! I’m sure it won’t go to waste.

    • young fishermen says:

      The artilce said it died befor they landed it wich makes it harder 2 land sometimes that happens with theese big fish

  4. Oh really says:

    bet ya real proud of yourself huh

    • (Faverne Lurbert) Come correct says:

      So they jumped in and took this beast down with a hand spear? No? YAWN! Get in the water with me and impress me, bet you’ll think twice when the animal has a fighting chance of its own and you could potentially be the meal. Might as well have used a harpoon cannon and made up a cool story bro. I once swam face to face with a (roughly 80-120lb) rockfish, spear in hand, I love rockfish but I didn’t like the odds of having this 4 foot animal drag me into the depths of his kingdom, now there’s one more large and beautiful fish in our waters for out local and non-local divers to enjoy. Sport fishing? There’s no sport if there’s no risk of losing. The prize for that fish breaking your manufactured line is his life, he’s all in, and so you should be too. You wonder why marlins are taking matters into their own fins and spearing guys off boats. Smh

  5. Bermudian In London says:

    What a magnificent fish! How sad that it was caught only for sport. They don’t taste well so this creatures only use will be in bait – what a waste.

  6. Here fishy fishy says:

    Should have been July 4th

    • Red Appletalk says:

      Thats what I was thinking! It would have been a $300K- $400K fish if caught on the July 4th tournament.

  7. M.P.Mountbatten JP says:

    Mom , whats for dinner ?

  8. downderoad says:

    I find humans to be so inhuman to our on species and barbaric to the rest of the species that inhabit this earth. Killing this magnificent fish absolutely disgusts me!

    • Notorious says:

      Very true, same thing I was thinking.

    • rob says:

      Your lucky we keep your dumb a#% around !! Survival of the fittest has served mankind well .. your naivety disgusts me !!

      • mrwiggin says:

        The irony has crossed into the red zone.

      • LMAWTFO says:

        HAs it now?

        • (Faverne Lurbert) Come correct says:

          Well you see, a herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo, when the herd is hunted it is the slowest weakest buffalo that are killed off first. The natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group is improved by the regular killing of the weakest members.

          So basically by allowing stupid people to breed, we end up in a situation much like today. Survival of the fittest HAS served well, past tense.

          • LMAWTFO says:

            So you know, thats was a retorical question! LOL

    • Get a clue says:

      The fish died, its part of life, get over it. I understand overfishing ect ect, but at the end of the day life is sustained through death. All you vegans who claim not to kill nothing, last i checked plants were alive too. Just saying

  9. Truth (original) says:

    What a shame. It must be many many years for a fish to get that size.

    Sometimes, humans suck.

    Waste.

  10. Guy Carri says:

    Sad. Such a beast for fun. That poor thing should still be swimming.
    Why make a donation to back home? Why not the country where you caught the record? Maybe to help kill lion fish that are decimating the local fish population……

  11. Alison says:

    THE FISH WAS PREGNANT. THAT’S WHY SHE FOUGHT FOR 4 HOURS, TO TRY AND SAVE HER AND HER BABIES.

    • Steve Zissou says:

      Fish do not get pregnant, they spawn.

      • PaPerne Purbert says:

        So you got something against fish?? They are the most majestic of the mammals…

    • Polly says:

      Blue marlin are spawners, they don’t get pregnant. Females release their eggs, and males their sperm, into the open ocean, and fertilization takes place in the surrounding water. There is no parental care of the young, and no such thing as parental love.

  12. John Steele says:

    What a terrible shame.

  13. When a living creature dies, it is NOT a sport! says:

    Sent to Greenpeace 30 May 2012:

    Dear Greenpeace:

    If you are not already aware, please review this article published just today in Bernews:

    http://bernews.com/2012/05/photosvideo-1289lb-blue-marlin-caught

    This beautiful Blue Marlin — thought to have been pregnant, by many eyewitness accounts — was played by a bunch of so-called ‘sportsmen’ for four hours until it finally gave up from exhaustion and died before being landed.

    The boat’s owner lives in South Carolina, and the boat spends most of its time in Florida.

    And all for what? Bragging rights. No needy person’s empty stomach will benefit from good meals because this will be stuffed and mounted to some wall. I found this quote from the Environmental Defense Fund page:

    “…Although marlins grow and reproduce faster than other large predatory fish, populations worldwide have decreased by staggering amounts. This is due to high marlin bycatch in tuna and swordfish longline fisheries, along with a lack of international management and a poor scientific understanding of marlin
    populations…”

    The sheer hubris of human beings, that so many of us believe *we* have all rights and expectation to kill any other species on the planet, even when the kill is intended for only the sport of it!

    I hope that Greenpeace will have the time and opportunity to respond to this horrid tragedy today.

    With outrage and shame for a species that believes it has the right to kill for “sport.”

    • so-n-so says:

      fish do not get pregnant, they spawn, go back to elementary

      • Me says:

        Indeed, the ‘eyewitnesses’ are looking to have rather dubious credibility at this stage……….

      • Hahaha says:

        A pregnant fish. Was it’s husband swimming around the dock crying too? Amazing. Best bernews comment ever. Saw that fish as they pulled it in, thing was awesome. Better if it was a non-radioactive tuna, then we could get some Sushi from it, but badass fish anyway.

      • Biologist says:

        I think this person means that the marlin was full of eggs ready to spawn. Females of fish such as groupers, marlin, tuna, look “pregnant” before spawning because they are full of eggs.

        It is such a shame catching a big fish, the species depends on large breeders to make lots of larvae!

  14. James Goodfellow says:

    Shame as it won’t qualify for any records or as an official catch in my opinion so if this guy wants to say he’s caught a grander in the Atlantic he’s going to have to keep on trying until he actually catches one himself . Should still make some international headlines though which will help our tourist product.

  15. Oh really says:

    Hopefully all these negative comments and clear outrage will wipe the smirks off their combined faces!

  16. OMG says:

    Yes a donation to where South Africa? How about to the many in Bermuda who by the way allowed you to catch this fish!! WTF??

    • Me says:

      The many in Bermuda who allowed you to catch it?! Surely by that you mean the fisheries department, who issue the lisences to foreign boats wishing to fish here. Yes, i’ll assume you want them to make a donation to fisheries. Not a bad idea, but the guy still paid for his lisence which means he can do whatever he wants with his money. I wonder, if he hadn’t mentioned making a donation at all what would you complain about in that case?

  17. rob says:

    if it was’nt for the waters around bermuda no-one would go there !! people are slaggin off the fishermen and upset about the catching of the fish but fail to realize thats their meal ticket !! people drop serious money to fish, drink and stay in bermuda, and thats what allows you to smoke weed, drink rum and be rude to people who fish there !!

    • Truth (original) says:

      Your broad classification of Bermudians as those who “smoke weed, drink rum and be rude to our visitors” speaks more to your incredible ignorance than to any generalization of Bermudians.

      If senselessly killing beautiful Marlins like this was a tourism stragedy it really would be a tourism tragedy.

      Killing this fish was no one meal ticket just a few men’s ignorance.

      • rob says:

        open your eyes mate !! you’ll see weed, greed, fishing and some rude ass lazy people !! Apart from tourism what can you offer ???

        • allcloggedup says:

          rob yur an a$s

        • LMAWTFO says:

          We can offer your mama!

          • LMAWTFO says:

            My bad, that was rude of me. I apologize for saying that. However I was offended by your comments which sparked my imediate reaction to dismiss you. Again, I am sorry.

        • james says:

          Sorry Rob but the Marlin tournament portion of our tourism product is tiny.

          As far as where we would be without tourism I suggest you have a look around town and ask a few people where the largest Insurance market in the world is located – yes just across the road from the weigh station. Bermuda also has one of the highest per capita income levels in the world and it has absolutely nothing to do with fishing and very little to do with tourism.

          I also hope you appreciate Bermuda for what it has to offer – I have been to Islamorada and whilst the fishing in the keys if fantastic the place really is a dump and full of pikeys.

          • half true says:

            Actually the largest insurance market in the world is the USA and that 1st place highest per capita income was way back in 2005 when the island was very populated with top executives making over $million salaries…it would be interesting to note how much this GDP per capita has change since the recent migration off the island from these “big fish”. At least you can eat the ocean fish, not much flavor in a bunch of empty buildings….

            • James Goodfellow says:

              So which criteria are you using half truth? There are plenty that make Bermuda the biggest and I am talking about an insurance market rather than the country itself dumbo. Regardless my point is quite clear. As far as per capita incomes you will note that I sated one of the highest – certainly more than Mexico , umm sorry I meant USA.

  18. freedom says:

    Nothing to smile about, these people should be ashamed of themselves.

  19. freedom says:

    Call the Sea Shepards…. We need them!!!!!

  20. USMM says:

    Awesome!!! Too bad that wasnt during the tournament!!

    Don’t worry about all the nay-sayers

  21. Warwick says:

    The dozen guests aboard his boat will have been staying at a nearby hotel, probably the Princess. They will have eaten at various restaurants, the boat will have been re-stocked from local grocery stores, mopeds will be rented, taxis will be hired.
    While it’s a crying shame this fish was killed, it is this sort of tourist that Bermuda really needs more of – not the the ones who buy only a t-shirt and use public transport.

    • Cha says:

      Yes and the government charges them licensing fees to fish here and they pay into the local economy to have their boats stay here. Whether you like it or not this is Bermuda’s only surviving tourist product.

      As I understand it the fish died at the boat so even if it was released it would be a floating carcass anyway.

    • observer says:

      It should also be noted that almost all of the marlin caught in Bermuda are released.

  22. TheFuture says:

    I am just amazed that ANY marlin, never mind one of this size, could be reeled in from within the harbor, actually alongside the dock! Amazing.

    “Dozens of people lined the PW dock on Front Street, as a visiting group aboard the “Seafari” reeled in a 1289lb Blue Marlin this afternoon…”

  23. @Work says:

    I guess I watch too many fishing programs where all marlins are released. This Marlin should have been one of them.

    • Me says:

      See above – it was dead by the time it was landed. In fact, there is edidence to suggest that a large number of the fish that are tagged and released die shortly afterwards due to exhaustion. That, indeed, is a great shame.

  24. laura cutler says:

    outrageous. tragic. i cannot comprehend on ANY level how this could be seen or felt in ANY way as victorious for the ‘fisherman’ – it is brutal, torturous, grossly unfair interms of ‘man v fish’. it is cruel and pathetic. this is what people call ‘sport’? barbaric.

  25. Paul says:

    What an appalling business. Killing just for bragging rights? Hope they’re all proud of themselves. As Oscar Wilde said, “The unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable”.

  26. Triangle Drifter says:

    All of these ignorant comments & not one mentions that by far & away the majority ARE tag & release.

    Not one mentions the hundreds of thousands these boats, crews & owners spend while in Bermuda. This very lucrative tourism did not happen overnight.

    Bragging rights?? Look who spends tens on thousands on cars throwing away perfectly good wheels just to put something shiney on.

    BTW, I am not a fisherman.

    • Concerned Citizen says:

      TD, agreed! Don’t waste your energy with these destroy tourism mindsets. People complain about everything, even when it’s obvious that this is a boost to our economy. And no, it’s not the PLP fault, OBA fault, or the governments fault. CAVE people in full effect. I hope this drives multiple boats and fisherman here over the next two months…..we can use the stimulus!

  27. Seriously?! says:

    This is disgusting. These people should be ashamed.

  28. Biologist says:

    There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding about whether the fish was “pregnant”. A marlin will not get pregnant like a human will, but when they are ready to spawn, female fish will have a pregnant appearance because they are full of eggs. These eggs are released, males release sperm (i.e. spawning), and fertilization happens in the water column.

    Blue marlin spawn within Bermuda’s 200 nm EEZ, so if this was an egg-bearing female ready to spawn this elevates the tragedy of the death.

    • When a living creature dies, it is NOT a sport! says:

      Thank you so much for explaining what I would have expected readers to understand when I used the term “pregnant.”

      And for all those who think that decrying the killing of this creature is somehow a stand against tourism, THINK again. It is the hubris of human beings who believe we have the right to kill things just because we ‘can’ that is the point. Bring all the tourism possible to Bermuda, just leave the killing behind.

  29. Mackie says:

    judging by most of the comments on here, 80% of our population must be vegan. just remember every time you eat fish, it was caught from the water….

  30. Z says:

    I thought it was illegal to fish for Blue Marlin, and they were only catch & release since they are considered endangered. Please correct me if I am wrong.

  31. tricks are for kids says:

    Wow! I hope you all give this same reaction when your about to eat your Snapper, Red Hind or Turbit that is caught by your local fisherman……..

  32. Bacchus says:

    Absolutley discusting. To think that this animal was killed for fun! Reminds me of the old big game sfaris in africa where so many of the big 5 were killed for trophies. All those people in the picture should be publically ridiculed!

  33. wow says:

    I am reading the comments by individuals who are against fishing for sport. I am not a big fan but I will not make the moral judgement that is so easy to do in Bermuda. If you wear any leather goods, or use leather goods, if you eat meat of any kind, if you visit to a zoo, enjoy any creature out of its natural habitat you are might be a hypocrite.

    I would support catch and release fishing or if that fish went to feed a big family then I would feel better.

    So, if you have a leather belt, shoes, leather couch, or if you eat chicken, piece of pork, sandwich with turkey or beef, or suck that lobstertail or dine and eat sushi. Just know there is nothing such as humane killing. Or bred to eat. thousands of pounds or one pound. either you are against or for it. but get off your high horse!

  34. Railway says:

    Sad, so very sad. This majestic fish should have met its end on its own terms, not at the hands of folks who caught it for sport ….. this is not a fish that was caught to feed the hungry … it was a fish that was slaughtered for amusement. Sad, so very sad.

  35. Lesley Cox says:

    We should be ashamed to call this “sport”. Barbaric and senseless.

  36. Kathy says:

    Typical Americans! If they have money, they’ll walk all over you! Americans are one of the top polluters in the world and have one of the worst reputations for environmental respect. Doesn’t surprise me….enjoyment out of killing a beautiful fish that has been on the planet longer than us….when the waters were once clean!

    Please sign the new Facebook Poll to put pressure on the Bermuda government to protect this species and give them a chance to rebuild their stock. Bermuda can get it’s money elsewhere…from tourists who respect our oceans!!!

    https://apps.facebook.com/opinionpolls/poll?pid=ACASUu6izrA

    For more information on billfish read…

    http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/Billfish/billfish_description.pdf

    • Sid says:

      Perhaps it should be noted the “guide” on board the American boat was…..Bermudian…..and without the help of the Bermudian probably wouldn’t of even found the fish, so get off your hign horse and have a look at your own back yard before you use the bash USA stick…..And no I’m not American.

      • Kathy says:

        Yes, and I know the Bermudian “guide” personally. Like anywhere in the world if you pay someone enough, they too will succumb to the temptation of exploitation of resources. He was, after all, just doing his “job”.

        Until we get the Bermuda Government to take a stand against people who want to come to our beautiful island and exploit our natural resources, we will continue to be taken advantage of in Bermuda.

        These creatures are precious resources to our island. As a fisherman, the “guide” should have known that this was the height of the spawning season and even if it was caught and released, it probably would not have survived. To kill one in the height of spawning season for “game” and to watch the fun celebrations following is an indication of the ignorance and the short sightedness of the owners of this boat.

        Enjoy your trophies!

        • Merry Widow says:

          I think you are damn presumptuous (for want of a better word) in insinuating that the “local guide” was paid enough!!! If you knew this guide that well, you would also know that he has been a driving force over his many years in the industry, trying to put game fishing on the map in Bermuda, AND that he never sought any remuneration for his efforts. Also, he and his son release the majority of the blue marlin that are caught on their boat. In fact, VERY FEW blue marlin are landed in Bermuda, as most are released with some being tagged.

          In light of the fact that it seems you are for the protection fish, I hope you feel the same about the protection of children, and that you are looking at the tags on all your clothing, bags, and shoes, to make sure that some poor little child hasn’t had to put it together in a sweat shop!!

  37. Merry Widow says:

    OH PLEASE!!! Will all the ‘saints’ get off their soapbox. I bet you all enjoy a good steak, leg of lamb, etc., etc. As for Greepeace, I hope you will all shed tears when one of the crew gets killed, in the name of preservation!

  38. Sportfisherman says:

    All these comments although I imagine well meaning are largely ignorant. The amount of marlin killed by sport fishing is minuscule as the vast majority are released. Furthermore, the most recent studies show mortality at release is very low and These studies on these fish have been solely funded by fishermen. It is fishermen who are among the only stewards for these fish and if not for funding provided by fishermen there would be NO research or interest in their sustainability. Who is the ONLY voice against non discriminating long line, purse seine, and ground dragging methods that take up to 95 percent by catch? Sport fishermen. Have any of the people voicing their disgust on this topic actually reached into their pocket and donated to either the Billfish Foundation or the IGFA? Who does? Sport fishermen. The hypocrisy of these comments disgusts me as many of the comments come from people who love their sushi, eat fresh tuna and wahoo, etc………

    Before making an ill informed comment it helps to actually know the facts.

    • JPTexas says:

      Ding! Winner!!! The ignorance in these posts is truly astonishing……. Hop onboard with the terrorist sea sheapards. Commercial fishing is the biggest threat to our oceans, NOT sportfishing. Please do so e research so you dont look entirely idiotic. I bet you guys don’t ask questions when eating a blackened grouper sandwich, maybe some spicy tuna rolls, nah…. Maybe blackened tuna also cooked rare to medium rare…. Or some grilled swordfish. You hypocrites are nothing short of amazing and your ignorance is second to none. 

      Get the flying gaff!

      Fish on!

      • Barracuda says:

        Do you eat a lot of rare Blue Marlin?

        • Brent Slade says:

          Marlin sashimi is a popular food item in Japan and in Hawaii is offered as ‘Poke”. Yes, rare Blue Marlin is consumed frequently.

          • Barracuda says:

            Is the Marlin going to be shipped to Japan?

  39. lalalalalong says:

    dat deya’s one biiig fish poppa

  40. proudbermudian says:

    I think this is terrible, why not tag and release this beautiful creature? How sad, poor thing.

  41. SAD!! says:

    I hope that everyone that thinks this is ok comes back as a marlin in their next life!!! Evil to think its ok to take something so beautiful out of the water, humans think they have the right to do what ever they like because we are the dominate species , even when they tag and release them a lot of times they are so tired they drowned. Errrrrr makes me sick!!

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