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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.

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