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Fishing Saltwater

Woman Reels in World-Record Marlin; Disqualified From Tournament

by Game & Fish Online Staff   |  August 23rd, 2012 14

Jody Bright Associated Press

Despite a world-class effort at this year’s Big Island Invitational Marlin Tournament in Hawaii, Molly Palmer found out the hard way that size really does matter.

After a four-hour fight to reel in a world-record marlin, the 28-year-old Palmer, just 5-foot-9-inches and 160 pounds, disqualified herself by asking her crew to help drag the behemoth aboard their vessel.

Weighing in at 1,022 pounds, the marlin would have bested the standing world record of 950 pounds for a woman. But with the giant fish dead on the line and directly under the boat hours into the catch, Palmer said her body couldn’t take any more, forcing her to pass on a grand prize and erase a $9,000 entry fee.

Without any judges to see what happened, Palmer and crew cited an honor code in the sport and let tournament officials know what transpired in their boat. Palmer said getting the marlin aboard was more important than any amount of money or notoriety.

“Everybody’s playing on the open ocean playing field and since there’s nobody there checking to see if you stepped out of bounds or any of that sort of stuff there’s a whole lot of opportunity to do things nobody would know of” Palmer told the Associated Press.

“I didn’t come here to set world records. I didn’t even really come here to win money. I came here to catch fish and that’s just what we were there to do.”

In a sport well known for fancifully exaggerated tales, Palmer reminds us all that honesty is still the best policy.

  • Greg

    Good for her and her crew, class.

  • William Johnson

    That means you have to disqualify everyone, because nobody, could get a large Marlin boated, by themself!

    • C B

      So right. I'm really not understanding that at all. Unless the touched the rod. The "excellent" writing didn't specify it.

  • Punky

    congratulations and kudos to Molly Palmer and the crew! Their actions are a credit to themselves, their family and sportsman.

    • dutch

      It's nice to see people covered that are an asset , instead of a detriment, to a sport covered.

  • Robert Russell

    CONGRATULATIONNS! catching a fish of a lifetime of that class would even make Ernest Hemmingway want to come back from his grave to try and top that one. I am sure that there are a lot of envious fisherman who wish they could have been in her chair fighting that World Record Fish. It is a tribute to her and the crew that helped her get that monster of a fish landed and on board without anyone being injured or hurt .



    • bwhntr

      "Catch and release" a dead fish? Why would that have been nice?

  • Steve

    It a shame such a magnificent animal had to die.

  • Dale

    To Converse

    If you have ever fished for GIANT FISH of any type its dangerous at least.

    But many times while fighting a Giant fish of any species you have to totally exaust the fish to get it to the boat.

    Then sometimes the fish dies from exaustion and just sinks to the bottm of the ocean, so you have to get the fish alive to the boat to gaff or tail rope it.

    I have seen this more than once fishing for Giant Tuna, Although I have never caught one Blue and Black Marlin also die from exaustion at the boat and sink to the bottom.

    Been their done that in over 60 years of fishing.


  • Gilly

    Classy lady! I tip my proverbial hat to her! :)

  • Sue Thomas

    You go girl..I have memories of fishing in the gulf from the bank with my Grannie and in the 60's and 70's there were big fish to catch….I applaud you and your crew for a awesome catch. Even in my latter days I wish just once I could go out in a boat and fulfill my dream of catching a minnow or two! When I see stories like yours it brings back memories of the fun I had with Grannie and your girlfriends..Wow! Keep it going! Your new fishing gal pal..Sue

  • don

    I love stories of sportsmen or women displaying proper sportsmanship. So often it is a virtue lacking in athletes, participatory professional sports, like the NFL, NBA, and MLB. SO often the negative stories outweigh the postive and we all get dragged through the mud by the people who bring the negative attention .

  • Tommy E. Workman

    If she just wanted to catch fish, why did she pay the entry fee. Just go fishing

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