Maryland State Record Marlin Earns Fishing Crew $1.1 Million Tournament Prize

A group of people standing around a tree
Maryland DNR

A Florida man hooked, reeled in, and landed a 1,135-pound Atlantic blue marlin and it is the new Maryland state record for the species. He also made a ton of money doing it.

A thousand plus pound marlin is arguably the most impressive thing a fisherman can catch. Known as “granders,” marlins of that size are rare enough that only a handful of them are caught each year. This the 7th grander marlin caught this year.

According to Chesapeake Bay Magazine, the fish was caught on August 20th by Billy Gerlach from Jupiter, Florida who was taking part in the 30th annual Mid-Atlantic Billfish Classic out of Ocean City, Maryland.

It had been a slow day of fishing while Gerlach and his crew were trolling 70 miles off shore and praying for a bite. Then a little a magic happened.

“I’ve been waiting for that bite my whole life.

The marlin hit the bait like a ton of bricks and a 3-hour fight ensued. Rumors of the massive marlin reached shore before the boat, and by that time a crowd had gathered to see the fish. It took 8 men to hoist the fish up onto the scale. When tournament officials announced the weight, the crowd erupted as many of them new it was a new state record.

The fish was certified by both the tournament’s weight master and an official with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

The meat was donated to area food banks while parts of the fish were collected for scientific research.

The massive fish shattered the 1,062-pound record from 2009 and earned Gerlach and the crew he was fishing with a nice little $1.1 million dollar pay day.

NEW MARYLAND FISHING RECORD: Blue Marlin Caught near Washington Canyon off the coast of Ocean City. Florida Man Recognized with 1,135-pound Catch at the 30th MidAtlantic Fishing Tournament.

Tournament Fishermen Get PAID

Tournament fisherman in Maryland have made a boatload of money this summer.

The states swordfish record was broken twice this summer. The first time during the Big Fish Classic, which paid out $542,000 and the second time during the White Marlin Open, which paid out an unbelievable $3.2 million.

Want to become a millionaire? Just start fishing offshore in Maryland apparently.

If you plan on hitting the water to do some fishing in Maryland, then be sure to purchase a fishing license.

Please keep in mind that in most coastal states you need to purchase separate licenses for fishing fresh and saltwater.

Oftentimes you do not need to purchase a license when fishing with a professionally licensed saltwater guide though, as most of the time they have their entire boats licensed for chartered trips like this. It’s best to check with the captain directly.

The sale of fishing licenses directly funds the protection and enhancement of public boat ramps, aquatic environments, and fish populations in all 50 states.

It also protects you from potentially being fined, having your gear confiscated, and/or losing your fishing privileges. It’s important to remember that just because you have a fishing license in one state, that does not mean it is valid in another state.

As always, please fish responsibly and leave the whiskey at the dock.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock