Cook Island Fisherman Caught a Marlin That Is Bigger than Most Great White Sharks

Written by Rachael Monson
Updated: September 6, 2023
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How big was the largest fish you’ve ever caught? I’ll bet it didn’t come close to the size of the absolutely massive marlin catch made by Pauro Arnold on August 28, 2023 in Titikaveka, Cook Islands. Let’s learn more about these incredible fish!

Marlins often hunt in groups, similar to wolves.


What is a Marlin?

A marlin is a large, ocean-dwelling fish of the Istiophoridae (or sailfish) family. Closely related to swordfish, they have long bills, long slender bodies, and a dorsal fin that can be raised and lowered like a sail. Their anatomy allows them to be extremely fast and skilled hunters. Some sailfish even hunt in groups, using their sails to communicate to one another and to scare fish into a manageable herd (shoal). This intelligent, pack-like hunting allows all the predatory fish to take their pick of the food.

The black marlin is the largest of the 10 or so marlin species, followed closely by the blue marlin. Interestingly enough, female marlins grow larger than males.

black marlin

Black marlin are the largest species of marlins.


What is the Most Massive Marlin Catch Ever?

The largest of marlins reaches 15 feet in length and up to 1,800 pounds. The largest ever caught was a black marlin that weighed in at 1,560 pounds and measured 14.5 feet long. Alfred Glassell, Jr. achieved this massive marlin catch on August 4, 1953. This catch was done with rod and reel in compliance with the International Game Fish Association’s rules.

How Big Was Pauro Arnold’s Marlin Catch?

Arnold’s record-breaking catch was a 1,158 pound blue marlin. Massive marlin catches like these weighing over 1,000 pounds are commonly referred to as “granders.” While his catch isn’t the biggest ever, this marlin is currently the largest one caught in the Cook Islands. He beat the previous records set by Cameron Thorp, who landed the first grander in June 2019. Thorp’s grander was 1,041 pounds, nearly 100 pounds lighter than Arnold’s. Thorp was previously beaten out by Paku Poila with his 1,045 pound massive marlin catch in November 2020.

Arnold reported that he struggled with the fish for about 1.5 hours on his 22-foot boat. He also stated catching a grander was a dream of his for the last 14 years. Arnold expressed that none of the fish would be wasted and that he was honored to have caught it.

Great White Shark
The largest ever great white shark is a female named Deep Blue.

How Do Marlins Stack Up to Other Predatory Fish?

When we think of large fish that prey on other fish, our minds most likely jump to great white sharks.

The largest great white ever is estimated to weigh about 5,000 pounds and measure 20–21 feet in length. The largest marlin, as previously discussed, weighed only 1,560 pounds. However, that’s not to say there aren’t larger marlins out there! Do you think there could be a massive marlin to catch out there that’s bigger than Deep Blue (the name of the largest great white)?

The photo featured at the top of this post is ©

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About the Author

Rachael Monson is a writer at A-Z-Animals where her primary focus is cats, big and small. She also works as senior veterinary assistant and has been in that field since 2012. A resident of Mississippi, she enjoys spending her off time playing video games with her husband and hanging out with her pets (a Bengal cat named Citrine and Basset Hound/Pomeranian mix dog named Pepsi).

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