When the Downs family of Virginia Beach came back from their fishing trip on Sunday, they all agreed that it was the best time they’ve ever had on the water. Catching nearly 50 white marlin will have that effect, with a beaming Jayme Downs calling the trip simply “remarkable.” According to The Virginian-Pilot, Jayme and four other members of her family were fishing with Captain Pat Foster when they caught and released 49 marlin. It was an exhausting feat that ended up with Foster’s boat, the Waverunner III, holding 49 flapping marlin flags before sundown.
Incredibly, the Sunday haul managed to fall short of the unofficial record for most catches in a day. That honor still belongs to the crew and anglers of the Maryland charter boat Billfisher, who caught a whopping 57 white marlin in 2010. The Billfisher operates out of Ocean City, which is renowned as the white marlin capital of the world. Every year the city hosts one of the globe’s largest marlin fishing tournaments, the White Marlin Open. Drawing thousands of anglers and awarding millions in prizes, the tournament encourages fierce competition but also conservation-minded catch-and-release rules to ensure a healthy marlin population. With such high stakes, it is no wonder that some of Ocean City’s charters hold world records.