The Story of the Record Blue Marlin

No other woman has ever caught a fish weighing over 900 pounds in New Zealand, and now Donna Pascoe has caught two, including a world-record Pacific bluefin. Even more incredible: The two remarkable catches occurred three years apart, to the day. This is Pascoe’s story of an incredible day on the water.

We were fishing the New Zealand Sport Fishing Club’s Simrad Nationals tournament with Capt. Ken Pascoe, our two deckies, Brad Bennetto and Phil Evans, and myself as the solo angler.

On February 20, 2017, we headed out early to the top of New Zealand’s North Island to start our day. Ken had gone inside to have a shower when at 7 a.m. we had a strike from a nice blue marlin. The same thing had happened the previous morning when Ken was in the shower, and once again he came running out with just a towel wrapped around himself as he yelled, “’Not again!”

I grabbed the rod and made my way to the chair, strapping in and pushing the drag up. The line wasn’t coming off the reel too fast, so I didn’t think it was anything really big. But after a few jumps, Brad Bennetto, one of our deckies who has seen a lot of big fish in Cairns [Australia] and Kona [Hawaii], said, “I think I need my big boy gloves for this one.”

We were keen on tagging all of our marlin, as we had our sights set…

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