A 1,000 lb (454 kg) fish, a “grander”, has historically been regarded by blue and black marlin anglers as the benchmark for a truly outstanding catch. For most marlin anglers, a 1,000 lb fish represents the fish of a lifetime.
Only two marlin caught in South African waters has reached this benchmark and both of them has been caught by Mpumalanga anglers.
The first real mamoth marlin caught in South Africa was at the end of 1981 and just missed the 1 000-pound mark, a 925 lb Black Marlin caught by Maurice Strauss aboard Erwin Bursik’s Sea Lord. Four years later in 1985, Piet Joubert (Bonito) came close to this benchmark twice with a Black Marlin weighing 924 lbs on his boat “Bonito” and another Black Marlin weighing 938 lbs. Both of these fish were caught on live bait and it was only untill recently when lure anglers came about that the grander benchmark was reached.
The first grander was caught by Hennie Seaman aboart the boat “Big Time” captained by the late Francois Erasmus. This Blue Marlin was caught on 1 April 2002 and weighed in at 504.8 kg (1113 lbs). It was caught on a black and red Williamson lure BMC (Big Blue Cavitator) – also known as the Captain Morgan on 80lbs line (a world record at the time)
The second grander was caught by Lappies Labuschagne on 18 May 2007 aboard his boat – Black Magic. This Blue Marlin was also caught on 80 lbs tackle and also on a Williamson lure BMC. The fish weighed in at 521.4 kg (1149 lbs) – just 40 kg shy of the world record as it stands today. It is currently the South African and All African record.