World record catches for Mercury Bay Game Fishing Club

12 Oct 2021

Mercury Bay has enhanced its reputation as one of the top game fishing clubs on the planet with three young anglers notching up world record catches in recent times. Two of the catches were confirmed only last week by the International Game Fishing Association (IGFA).

Daniel Wilson reeled in an enormous 282.8kg broadbill swordfish after an epic four-and-a-half-hour tussle on 21 May this year to take the IGFA male junior record for the species, while another youngster, eight-year-old Lewis Bodman, took the male small-fry world record for a 170.8kg striped marlin five weeks earlier on 14 April.

Meanwhile, Mitchell Oliveira, now aged 12, has had his male small-fry world record confirmed for landing a 242.8kg blue marlin caught off the Mercury Islands last year.

Congratulating Daniel on the “fish of a lifetime”, the IGFA said the “massive” swordfish struck a deep bait while he was fishing off the Mercury Islands aboard Tony Tucker’s boat, Pearl Miner.

“After a grueling four hour and 30-minute battle, he was finally able to get the fish to the gaff,” the IGFA said in its report, adding that the last 30 minutes of the battle were particularly exhausting for Daniel (16), who was 15 at the time.

Daniel’s father, Nathan, said his son was “pretty humble” about reeling in the mammoth catch, which was roughly four times his weight and twice his size. 

“Daniel was in the lucky position that he was out in the boat and on the rod that day,” Nathan said. “A lot of other youngsters in the club have done good things as well. At the moment, we are very lucky to have a squad of juniors who are keen on their fishing. It means the club is in good hands and that is what it is all about, really.”

During the four-and-a-half-hour battle with the enormous fish, Daniel was standing up in harness with no chair. “For the last hour or half hour of the fight, he didn’t remember where he was,” Nathan said. “He went a bit light-headed,” 

Under the rules, Daniel could not get help from anyone else. Whatever was going through his head, totally exhausted after such a titanic struggle, he kept going until the fish was landed.

Tony Tucker said that throughout the four-and-a-half-hour marathon, Daniel just “quietly did his thing and dug away”. “You get into your rhythm and you can’t even hear or don’t know what is going on around you,” he said. “Daniel was pretty ecstatic when we finally got it in the boat, like the rest of us - the fish of a lifetime. “It was pretty epic for any angler, but for a 15-year-old it was even better.”

So exhausted was Daniel that he slept in the boat on the way back from the Mercury Islands and had an early night when he got home.

Kane Bodman said his son, Lewis, was “over the moon” to have a world record to his name. “He is pretty chuffed - not everyone gets to be a world record holder,” he said.

When The Informer spoke to Kane last week, Lewis had not had time to tell his friends, especially still being in lockdown in Pokeno. “We literally only found out yesterday,” said Kane. “When I got home last night, we sat down as a family and I made him read out the [official] email. He read it out and half-way through, he semi-realised what was happening and you could see the smile start to build and finally, when he got to the end of the email, he was pretty bloody chuffed.”

Mitchell Oliveira, who has been fishing since he was three, has his heart set on catching more big fish and maybe getting more world records. “I am really keen on game fishing, it is a sport I intend to keep up for the rest of my life,” he said. “When I caught the fish, it was a two-hour-45-minute fight, which was really tiring, especially towards the end. At some point, I wanted to cut the line, but I kept on going. It was really, really exciting.”

Pitcured - Mercury Bay Game Fishing Club junior member  Lewis Bodman.