Cook Islands Angler Catches Record-Setting 1,128-Pound Blue Marlin On Solo Fishing Trip

Blue Marlin breaching water while battling behind a boat

iStockphoto / Kelly Dalling

A man in the Cook Islands just caught a record-setting 1,128-pound blue marlin, which sets a new fishing record for the largest marlin ever caught in the Cook Islands and it is the largest marlin caught worldwide so far this year.

Incredibly, angler Pauro Arnold managed to catch the grander blue marlin that tipped the scales at 1,128-pounds on a solo fishing trip as he took his 22-foot boat Haurua out by himself. Needless to say he stunned everyone back at the dock when he returned with the grander blue marlin that turned out to be the biggest marlin caught worldwide so far this year.

Largest Grander Blue Marlin Ever Caught In The Cook Islands

The first-ever grander blue marlin caught in the Cook Islands (and recorded) was landed relatively recently. That 1,040-pound blue marlin was caught by angler Cameron Thorp.

According to the Cook Island News, angler Paku Poila laid claim to the largest-ever marlin caught in the Cook Islands with a 1045lb fish caught in November 2020. Pauro Arnold spoke with the Cook Island News about catching the biggest grander blue ever landed in the island chain.

He said he was ‘overwhelmed’ and had ‘waited 14 years to do this.’ Arnold said the massive fish leapt from the water between 40 and 50 times and says the fish peeled off line in bursts of speed up to 60 km/h.

The catch of a lifetime

The caption on that Instagram post should clear up some confusion about why this fish was kept. It reads “Before people complain, Pauro is a commercial fisherman. He trolls two lines, catching one fish at a time. Rarotonga is a small island surrounded by over 2 million square kilometers of ocean, home to only a handful of commercial fishermen. The more fish we can catch, the less fish we have to import from foreign commercial businesses. Every single part of that fish gets utilized. All the meat gets sold locally, and bones/ heads get boiled up by local families. Sustainability at its finest.

Pauro Arnold said it took him about 1.5 hours to land the fish. He had to maneuver his 22ft boat himself while fighting the fish of a lifetime. He added “I kept it to 50 metres of line, kept it short, I don’t like letting my marlin go…”

The fish was hooked about 3 miles away from “Little Polynesian and Charlie’s Café.” Which according to Google Maps puts it around the bottom/South edge of the island here:

Rarotonga Google Maps


Once back at the dock in Avana Harbour, he enlisted the help of his friends to get the fish loaded on to a trailer so he could then take it to a scale. He had a hunch the fish was a grander but didn’t realize that at 1,128-pounds it would be the biggest Cook Islands blue marlin ever weighed.

Arnold went on to thell the Cook Island News “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.”

It was truly the catch of a lifetime. Adventurous anglers might fish their entire lives in pursuit of a grander and still never land one. He did it on an entirely solo trip. Absolutely incredible.