Houston, Texas angler Scooter Anderson was fishing aboard the Alabama-based, 55-foot Viking offshore boat Best Trait when he caught the largest blue marlin ever recorded in the Gulf of Mexico.
Anderson landed the marlin during a two-day overnight fishing trip, according to Jimmy Bason, harbor master at Orange Beach Marina in Alabama. Bason officially weighed and measured the marlin on Thursday morning after the Best Trait arrived in the marina, as was originally reported on OBA.
“The fish hit a small live tuna bait, and Scooter fought the fish for two hours before they got it to the boat,” Bason tells Outdoor Life. “They were fishing near the Blind Faith oil rig, about 120 miles from Orange Beach in over 3,000 feet of water.”
The Blind Faith is a Chevron-owned oil rig that, in 7,000 feet of water, the company touts as its deepest. Bason says the anglers were not fishing in a tournament. They were just out fishing for fun in the open blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico when the marlin struck.
“The marlin action has been excellent recently out there, and captain Chris Mowad knew that was the place to be for a big blue,” Bason says.
According to Bason, the marlin died in deep water about an hour into the two-hour fight. Giant billfish occasionally dive deep when hooked and die, often after getting their tail wrapped in the line. This makes it difficult for anglers to muscle them to the surface.
Bason said Capt. Mowad “planned” the marlin up through the depths using the boat’s engines, which enabled Anderson to continue battling the blue to the boat. At the surface the boat crew hauled the enormous fish through the open stern door.
The blue marlin measured 12.17 feet long, with a girth of 7 feet, says Bason. The fish was filleted and the anglers took the meat. It will not be mounted by a taxidermist.
“It’s so big, we don’t know where you’d put a mount of such a huge fish,” Bason says. “They are making an imprint of it, however, which will be huge, too. Finding a place to display it won’t be easy.”
Imprinting is done by painting the fish, then laying large canvas sheets over it to make a life-size image of the marlin. It’s not clear what test line or tackle was used to catch the record fish. But Bason says it’s standard to use 100-pound line or heavier for marlin.
Anderson’s 1,148-pound marlin easily tops the Alabama record for blues. The previous state record marlin was a 851.9-pound fish caught by Ginger Myers in July 2020.
Anderson’s blue also is the largest marlin recorded in any of the other Gulf of Mexico states. The second largest is a 1,054-pounder taken off Mississippi in June 2002 by angler Barry Carr.
The remaining Gulf of Mexico blue marlin records are a 1,046-pound marlin from Florida in 2001; a 1,018-pound marlin from Louisiana in 1977; and a Texas marlin weighing 972.7 pounds.
The IGFA all-tackle Atlantic blue marlin record is a 1,402-pound, 2-ounce fish caught in 1992 in Brazil.