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Rare white marlin caught in Costa Rica

Rare white marlin caught in Costa Rica

(Roberto Salinas)

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Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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COSTA RICA — A fishing crew in Costa Rica caught and released a 300-pound marlin on Tuesday that has the international angling community abuzz.

No, it’s not the fact that it weighed 300-pounds that made the billfish unique. What set it apart from thousands of other marlin caught each year is that this blue marlin was white.

International headlines quickly dubbed the fish an albino, but the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) issued a statement refuting this claim:

"Although common names for marlin generally focus on color (e.g., black marlin, blue marlin, white marlin, etc.) color is typically not the best feature to use in identifying billfish. Especially in this case! The shape and size of this marlin’s dorsal and pectoral fins clearly indicate that it’s a blue marlin even though it’s not blue at all. The eye color - black, rather than red or pink - also indicates that this marlin is leucistic (which is a reduction in pigmentation) rather than albino."

The white marlin was caught by New Yorker Karen Weaver, who is a veteran saltwater angler. Weaver and her husband were fishing with Captain Juan Carlos Zamora roughly 20 miles off of Los Suenos, Costa Rica when it hit. They were fishing on light tackle with 30-pound test, so it took all of Weaver’s skill to keep the marlin from breaking off.

As soon as the fish went airborne, the crew of the boat recognized that this was a once-in-a-lifetime catch. They took photos of the fish in action, which Field and Stream reports may be the only photos ever taken of a white blue marlin.

After an hour-long battle, Weaver brought the marlin up to the boat and it was carefully released.

Grant Olsen joined the team in 2012. He covers outdoor adventures, travel, product reviews and other interesting things. You can contact him at


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