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Monster blue marlin caught after 28-hour battle off Cabo San Lucas

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
Tuesday, September 27

Monster blue marlin caught after 28-hour battle off Cabo San Lucas
Some reports listed the weight of a blue marlin landed Sunday off Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, at an eye-popping 1,213 pounds, a record for the resort destination. Others claimed the behemoth fell short of "grander" status, weighing only 972 pounds on a marina scale.

Whatever the weight of the billfish, it was an extraordinary catch, especially considering that the battle played out for nearly 28 hours, giving this yarn a Hemingway quality that seems more like fiction than fact.

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The angler credited with the catch is Richard Biehl of Traverse City, Michigan, but he had help from the crew aboard the 31-foot yacht, Go Deep, which was plying the Pacific Ocean north of Cabo San Lucas at Baja California's tip.

After an offshore marathon that began Saturday morning at 8:20 and ended close to noon Sunday, those aboard the yacht either resembled or felt like very old men of the sea.

"That was the hardest thing I ever did in my life by far," Biehl told Pisces Sportfishing general manager Tracy Ehrenberg, who on Monday evening published the first detailed account of the remarkable episode. "I've shot bull moose and trekked out with 200 pounds on my back and it doesn't even compare."

Nobody knew what was in store when the marlin attacked a trolled lure at what is known as the 95 Spot, and dashed toward the horizon. The fishermen were targeting much smaller striped marlin and using only 60-pound-test line -- far too light for giant blue marlin.

When the great billfish first jumped, about 400 feet from the boat, the crew guessed its weight to be about 700 pounds.

Word of the catch didn't spread until Monday, when many in town and in the billfishing community considered the catch to be a rumor. Then photos and sparse details began to appear on . One photo showed the weight at 972 pounds, but that did not tell the story.

Ehrenberg on Monday afternoon interviewed Capt. Luis Abaroa and his crew, and briefly spoke with Biehl. (Efforts to reach Biehl for this story, via cellphone, were unsuccessful.)

Abaroa told Ehrenberg that the marlin registered only 972 pounds because the hook of the electronic scale used to weigh the fish was not high enough for all of the fish to clear the ground, so a time-tested measurement formula -- using length and girth -- was used to determine the 1,213 pounds. The marlin measured 137 inches long, or 11.4 feet, not counting its bill or tail. It was 75 inches, or 6.25 feet around.

Weight records for marlin caught off Cabo San Lucas are not kept officially, but an 1,111-pounder caught in the 1980s is believed to be the heaviest.

More recently, in this era of high-speed reels and other technological advancements, overnight struggles with giant billfish have become increasingly rare.

Biehl, bemoaning the use of light line, fought the giant blue marlin by himself until about sunset, then relinquished the rod to a deckhand. By then food and water had been exhausted and another vessel captained by Abaroa's brother, Frankie, was summoned via radio to deliver supplies.

The marlin leaped again, closer to the boat, as darkness fell. The weight estimate was revised upward to between 800-1,000 pounds.

A long night was fitful because to keep the line from breaking the captain and crew had to keep just enough pressure on the marlin, and constant maneuvering of the boat was necessary.

At sunrise a rejuvenated Biehl reclaimed the rod and resumed the fight. With the line and leader weakening, the crew aboard the other boat had devised a snag rig and managed to setting more hooks into the cheek of the wearying marlin.

Finally, the billfish tired and was brought alonside the boat, and according to Ehrenberg, Biehl chose to have it gaffed and brought to port. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime fish. I want to take him," he said.

Surprisingly, Biehl went fishing again Monday and caught and released a striped marlin, before himself succumbing to all he had been through by coming down with a bout of seasickness.

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post #2 of 32
28 hours!!! That's one hell of a fight and fish. Talk about sore muscles I don't even want to imagine icon24.gif
post #3 of 32

28 hours-----are you kidding or what ???  Maybe 5 hours, fish sounded and died, rest of time pulling on a dead fish. Inexperienced crew and anglers using undersized gear for Sails


Edited by XBMX - 9/28/11 at 11:04pm
post #4 of 32
wow thats a monster ...congrats to the anglers ..beers.gif
post #5 of 32
how could one stand hearing the drag scream for 28hrs...freak.gif
post #6 of 32
28 hours? pssh I could have done better with a fly rod...... kooky.gif
post #7 of 32
I could have landed that fish in 3 with my surf rod (assuming I had unlimited line, of course tongue.gif ). Those guys need to learn how to fish correctly.
Edited by Kima - 9/29/11 at 12:46am
post #8 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by fishkiller01 View Post

Tuesday, September 27
Biehl chose to have it gaffed and brought to port. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime fish. I want to take him," he said.

The choice to take that fish was made when they decided to fight that fish with such small gear.
post #9 of 32
please remember to keep your comments on topic.
whether or not the guy decided to keep it or not is his choice so long as it's legal.
also, they were not fishing for blue marlin, so did not have the right gear.
It's one hell of a catch, whether you agree with it being fought that long on that light gear or not.
it is what it is.

one hell of a big fish.
post #10 of 32
They must have been fishing with a 30wide?They would have killed it if they released it,at least now,the locals will eat it.
I DO,however disagree with sliding more hooks down the line with heavier leaders.That's dirty pool.
post #11 of 32
There is no way it took 28 hours. I don't even no what to say .... 6 hours TOPS. Will say nice fish thou:p
post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucktailkid21 View Post

There is no way it took 28 hours. I don't even no what to say .... 6 hours TOPS. Will say nice fish thou:p

I'm skeptical too, my mind is exploding trying to think how it would take 28 hours to catch a fish. An entire day and then some to catch a single fish, granted it's around 1000 pounds, but still. Did they have it in free spool and hand lined it in?
post #13 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by TLDig View Post

please remember to keep your comments on topic.
whether or not the guy decided to keep it or not is his choice so long as it's legal.
also, they were not fishing for blue marlin, so did not have the right gear.
It's one hell of a catch, whether you agree with it being fought that long on that light gear or not.
it is what it is.
one hell of a big fish.

Maybe it deserves a comment... I kill fish.... plenty of em every year. A grander like this female is very very rare.
Orders of magnitude more eggs than a smaller fish. Some fish absolutely need C&R, this is an example.
Whether the 'Law' says so or not, it was wrong. It is a waste of something precious.

Please keep your comments on topic, *** does that mean?
post #14 of 32
Nice Fish!!! smile.gif but you could probably wear that fish out from a KAYAK in 28 hours tongue.gif too bad they weren't geared for it, it is kinda a shame not to land it more quickly and do a release... but still definitely a nice fish and probably once in a lifetime size. I don't know if I would cut the line either, if i hooked into this monster while fishing for dorado etc...

just waiting for the parade of comments from the SOL Value Judgement Extreme Conservationist Team to chime in on this one too.... rolleyes.gif
Edited by scooter pie - 9/30/11 at 10:28am
post #15 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kima View Post

I could have landed that fish in 3 with my surf rod (assuming I had unlimited line, of course tongue.gif ). Those guys need to learn how to fish correctly.

Well not everyone is a pro fisherman like you kima,

That is a sick fish no matter how you look at it especially seeing as they had 60lb line.
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