North Carolina has a new state record for white marlin, and it goes to a visiting angler from Ashburn, Virginia. The state Division of Marine Fisheries announced last week that Neil Manning caught a 138-pound white marlin while fishing off Hatteras late last year. The large fish measured 85 inches from the tip of the lower jaw to the fork of its tail. It also measured 37 inches in girth.
According to Captain Kenny Koci of Fin Again Sportfishing, the anglers originally thought it was just a very small blue marlin.
“I noticed the rounded fins and pointed them out to the others,” Koci told North Carolina Sportsman. “I told them this was a white marlin, not a small blue, and it was the biggest white marlin I had ever seen. I guessed it would go 150 pounds. We talked about it for a minute or so with the fish swimming beside the boat, and I made the call to bring it in.”
Manning brought the fish in on live menhaden using a 30-pound test line with a Cape Fear Rod and Shimano TLD-25 reel. Koci wrote on Facebook that the trip also resulted in 17 black fin tuna catches, three large wahoos, 12 yellow-fin tunas, and 13 king mackerel.
White marlin generally average around 65 pounds and are considerably rarer than their more famous blue cousins. North Carolina’s previous record for white marlin was a 118-pound, 8-ounce fish caught off the coast of Oregon Inlet in 1976. Manning’s fish exceeded that record by nearly 20 pounds.