PHOTO: Virginia Anglers Land Blue Marlin Nearly as Long as a Car

by Chris Haney
(Kelly Dalling via Getty Images)

Last week, a fishing team off the coast of Virginia Beach reeled in an enormous blue marlin, which is officially the second-largest ever caught in the state. The group of anglers was around 70 miles out at sea when they felt a hard yank on the line. Two and a half hours later they finally captured what would be a historic marlin.

“We all said, ‘Whoa that’s a big one right there,'” fisherman Reese Bowles told local news station WAVY.

Bowles is part of the Reelin N Dealin fishing team that caught the 944-pound blue marlin. The Virginia Beach Tuna Tournament congratulated the group and shared photos of the huge catch on their Facebook account. The pic also includes six of the team’s anglers posing with the fish. To say the blue marlin dwarfs the men in the photo is an understatement since it’s as big as a car.

“Simon Says…. catch a once in a lifetime kind of fish!” the post read. “Check out that 944 pound blue marlin the ‘Reelin N Dealin’ caught by Reese! Congratulations to the entire crew of the ‘Reelin N Dealin’!!”

Speaking further about the wild catch, fisherman Reese Bowles shared more about the experience of reeling in the monster fish.

“Every time (the fish) kicked its tail, my entire body would move up and down,” Bowles told WAVY. “So I had my buddy Bryce grab my belt loop so I didn’t go over.”

Bowles added that other waters further south may get more hype when it comes to catching large marlins. However, he and his fellow anglers are more than thrilled about their once-in-a-lifetime catch.

“We don’t get the hoopla of some of the places to our south,” Bowles said. “But we got the same fish and we got the same opportunity.”

Although the marlin is gigantic, it’s not the largest ever caught off the coast of Virginia. In fact, the record holder dates back to 1978. According to the Virginia Beach Angler’s Club, angler Edward Alan Givens reeled in a 1,093-pound blue marlin that still stands as the largest blue marlin ever caught in the state.

12-Year-Old Florida Girl Lands Junior World Record Blue Marlin

In other big catch news, it was a good summer for one young angler from Florida. 12-year-old Elizabeth Arn and her father, Jonathan, went on a fishing trip to West Africa with one purpose in mind – blue marlin.

The family members are no strangers to big catch fishing, but they decided to venture out of Florida and test African waters instead. Setting a world record was the goal, and they did exactly that on a fishing expedition with Dacia, an all-American crew that traveled to Cape Verde from Miami.

Over their five-day excursion, the crew actually reeled in 13 blue marlins. Four of them were Elizabeth’s catches on her own. Yet her prize catch was a 115-inch-long and 624-pound monster marlin. The enormous catch qualified her to break the previous Female IGFA Junior Angler record. The previous record holder marlin was a 549-pounder that a fellow Floridian fisherman caught in 2003 off the coast of Ghana.