Solo Angler breaks Cook Islands fishing record with over 1,000lb blue marlin
In an astonishing feat of blue water fishing, a commercial fisherman from the Cook Islands managed to catch a giant blue marlin, setting a new record for the species on the island. Fishing from his 22-foot boat percent, Pauro Arnold hooked, fought and landed a marlin entirely on his own, according to the Cook Island News. Arnold’s fish weighs 1,128 pounds, which also makes it one of the heaviest marlin caught worldwide this year.
“I was overwhelmed by the candor,” he told local media. “I’ve waited 14 years to do this.”
The Cook Islands are a scattered chain of 15 islands located northeast of New Zealand, near French Polynesia. Arnold was cruising about three miles off Rarotonga, the largest of the Fifteen Islands and home to the capital, Avarura, when he caught a marlin. During the 90-minute battle, Arnold kept the marlin close to his boat using a line as short as about 50 yards. He said that the huge fish jumped several dozen times during the battle, and made several rapid runs that Arnold estimated at more than 35 miles per hour.
“I don’t like letting go of my marlin, so I kept (the line) short,” said the veteran fisherman, who also caught a 600-pound earlier this year.
After the epic battle, Arnold brought the fish back to the port of Avana, where it was officially weighed and sold to the locals. This was a fact another local commercial fisherman was proud to share when he defended Arnold’s decision to kill the fish.
“Before people complained, Paurou was a commercial fisherman. He fished in two lines, one fish at a time,” Cameron Thorpe wrote in an Instagram post. “The more fish we can catch, the less we have to import from foreign trading companies.
“Every part of that fish is used,” Thorpe continued. “All the meat is sold locally, and the bones/heads are boiled by local families. Sustainability at its best.”
Meanwhile, Arnold told reporters he was only happy to provide for his fellow islanders.
“Thank you so much for the ocean and the Polynesian spirit,” said Arnold. “These fish command a lot of respect. I am proud to be a Cook Islander and to bring these fish into my home.”
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Only a few “big fish” (a nickname for marlin weighing over 1,000 pounds) have been caught and recorded in the Cook Islands over the past few years. The island’s previous record was a 1,045-pound blue marlin caught by Paco Buela in November 2020.