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Cook Islands grander marlin record smashed

Wednesday 30 August 2023 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Local, National

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Cook Islands grander marlin record smashed
Fisherman Arnold Pauro now holds the Cook Islands record for the heaviest marlin, a grander - 1128lb (512 kilograms) during an unforgettable solo fishing trip aboard his trusty 22-foot boat, Haurua. PAURO ARNOLD. 23082904

In a remarkable feat of skill and determination, fisherman Pauro Arnold has his name stamped in the records of the nation’s fishing history.

Breaking the Cook Islands grander marlin record on Monday, Arnold reeled in a colossal blue marlin weighing a staggering 1128 pounds (512 kilograms) during an unforgettable solo fishing trip aboard his trusty 22-foot boat, Haurua.

Arnold's lifelong aspiration to achieve the coveted grander marlin status has finally become a reality.

“I was overwhelmed to be honest,” said Arnold.

“I’ve waited 14 years to do this.”

His record-breaking catch took an unexpected turn when he returned to Avana Harbour and with the help of his mates, hauled the massive fish on to a trailer.

It was at this moment that the realisation dawned upon him - he had potentially landed a grander marlin weighing more than 1000 pounds.

Arnold hooked the blue marlin in Titikaveka, approximately three miles out from the Little Polynesian and Charlie's Café.

Keeping a short line, Arnold got the fish to the boat within the first three minutes.

Then the engagement in a thrilling battle with the monstrous marlin began.

Arnold recalled the marlin's impressive acrobatics, leaping out of the water (40-50 times) and racing at speeds of up to 60 kilometres per hour.

Skilfully manoeuvring the fight, after a big battle, he landed the fish in about 1.5 hours.

 “I kept it to 50 metres of line, kept it short, I don’t like letting my marlin go…” he said.

Arnold's respect and appreciation for the ocean and the Polynesian spirit shines through in his reflections on the catch.

He has landed five memorable sized marlin and earlier this year he weighed in a 275 kg marlin while again, fishing solo.

Expressing gratitude for the opportunity to bring in such magnificent fish in his own ocean backyard.

Arnold said: “These fish demand so much respect.

“A massive thank you to the ocean and Polynesian spirit.

“I’m proud to be a Cook Islander, and to bring in these fish in, in my own home. It really is a blessing.”

Fishing highlights the community's commitment to sustainability and the positive impact of fishing locally.

Every part of the fish was to put to good use, the meat was sold locally and the bones/head prepared and eaten - nothing was wasted.

The popular local ‘Fishing Rarotonga’ social media post noted: “The more fish the locals can catch, the less fish we have to import from foreign commercial businesses.”

Cameron Thorp landed the first grander in June 2019, a 1041lb (472.6kg) marlin.

In November 2020 Paku Poila claimed the heaviest marlin title with his 1045lb (474.2kg).

Arnold now holds the record for the heaviest marlin in the Cooks.