An eighth-grade student from North Carolina completed a billfish grand slam by catching and releasing three species of billfish in one day–a feat the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) says has only happened three times in the state since the agency began keeping records in 1964.
The Cary News reports that Will Kilpatrick, 13, caught a blue marlin, white marlin, and sailfish on June 22,2013. It was his first deep-sea fishing trip–his reward for making the honor roll in the preceding school year.
“Catching those three specific species of fish, whether you are a novice or an experienced fisherman, is extremely rare,” said Jack Vitek, the world record administrator at the IGFA. “To do that on your first day of deep-sea fishing is incredible.”
The captain of the boat, George Powell of Virginia Beach, Virginia, said Kilpatrick and his little brother started the day by catching a few mahi mahi, but quickly hooked a 300-pound blue marlin. They motored to a new area when another vessel reported marlin at another location, where they caught a white marlin.
“About the time we got the baits back in the water, a pair of sailfish appeared and we hooked them, too,” Powell said.
On shore, Powell helped Kilpatrick complete the IGFA paperwork required to register the accomplishment, which is now pending approval.