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Kenya – 1st Grander of the Year

Watamu, Kenya – It took until Mid-March, but we finally have our First Grander of the Year and it is a special one. Capt. Stuart Simpson on Ol Jogi II weighed a 1,062 lbs. Blue Marlin for Angler Roger Sutherland.  This is Capt. Simpson’s 1st Grander and only Kenya’s 2nd Grander ever. Below is the Press Release from Gone Fishing Kenya

Ol Jogi II – a 32ft Bertram with 2 x 275HP caterpillar engines – hooked the thousand pounder at 11.20am on the Rips offshore from the Kenyan town of Watamu. The fish took a Williamson Lure BBI # 1 in black and purple.

The Skipper, Stuart Simpson, saw the Marlin come up to the boat’s teaser and called it a Grander from the first glance. ‘I had a feeling when I first saw it that it was a grander’ said Simpson ‘I had never seen one like it’.

The Marlin came up to the teaser 3 times before switching to a 50lb flat line which the crew – with little time to deliberate – had to wind away from the fish. The Marlin proceeded to ‘prop-watch’ for the next 20 minutes before finally dropping back to take a lure.

‘It was incredibly tense’ said British angler Roger Sutherland who wound in the prize fish ‘there was a flurry as we took the flat line out the water then nervous silence while the fish followed us.’

When the fish eventually took the lure, Simpson knew it was well hooked and the fight was on. Sutherland fought the fish for 2 and a half hours on 100lb line class. ‘As the fish was hooked, we came back on the drag immediately – to 6lbs’ Simpson said ‘once the fish had stopped running we went up to about 60lbs of drag pressure.’ Within an hour, the crew had the trace wrapped and started to pull but the fish took another 100 metres of line and the fight continued.

Sutherland has caught many Marlin but says that this is one he certainly won’t be forgetting.

When the fish reached the gantry at Hemingways and weighed in at 1062lbs, skipper, angler, crew and over 200 spectators were thrilled to celebrate the second Grander caught in the history of Kenyan fishing and the first Grander caught worldwide in 2014.

‘I knew we had done it when it weighed in at 451kgs with its head still on the ground’ Simpson said, ‘we had our fish’.

Asked how he felt to have caught Kenya’s second grander Simpson said ‘This fish is very important to Kenya’s tourism and to Watamu as a Big Game fishing destination. We have incredibly diverse waters – a great destination for grand slams – and now we have proved once again that our big fish are still out there.’

The first Grander caught in Kenya was caught by Angus Paul of Neptune 10 years back. It weighed 1197lbs and its mould still hangs on the wall in Malindi fishing club just north of Watamu.

Simpson has been fishing professionally for 10 years and in that time has caught over 400 marlin. Fewer than 10 have come in to the gantry – with the exception of this grander, his first, all of those brought in have died on the line.