World's first Black Marlin caught on Rod and Reel
Peter Silcock suspected that fish skeleton hanging in the Australian Museum skeleton gallery (AMS I.38913-001) was the first Black Marlin caught anywhere in the world on rod and reel. When first caught, it was originally thought to be a swordfish or spearfish, so was sent to the Museum aboard the steamer Karuah.
Peter Silcock, historian for the Newcastle and Port Stephens Game Fishing Club, visited the Australian Museum to look at the Black Marlin Makaira indica skeleton in the Skeleton Gallery.
A visit to the Australian Museum Archives by Peter and Mark (the Fish Collection Manager), combined with checks of the database, and old registers all confirmed that the fish skeleton in the gallery was indeed the fish collected by Sydney doctor, Mark Lidwill off Port Stephens in February 1913.
The final piece of evidence was that the fish was recorded to have been hooked through the tongue and did not put up much of a a struggle. Indeed the tongue of the skeleton at the Museum shows evidence of hook damage.
We can now confirm Peter's suspicions about the "celebrity status" of the skeleton.
- Australian Museum Donor Schedule dated 15 February 1913.
- Hittmann, B. 1939. Editorial. The N.S.W. Rod Fishers Society's Gazette. 7(4).
- Kelly, P. 1998. Riddle of 1913 catch solved. Port Stephens Examiner. Wednesday August 19, 1998, p3.
- McIntyre, J. 2002. The first Marlin. Blue Water. Trader International Group: 66-69.
- Silcock, P. 1998. Where it all Began. Jaws. Newcastle and Port Stephens Gamefish Club Ltd. Sept. 1998: 12-13.
Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology