N.C. Teen Catches 3 Species of Billfish in 1 Day

An eighth-grade student from Apex has matched a North Carolina record by catching a blue marlin, a white marlin and a sailfish on his first deep sea fishing trip, but the feat won’t end up in the record books after all.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported that Will Kilpatrick recorded the billfish grand slam on June 22, but the catch violated rules of the International Game Fish Association for a billfish grand slam.

Will’s father, Mike, says that a first mate handed the rod to his son when the blue marlin hit June 22. That violates IFGA rules, which say no one else can touch the rod, reel or line once the fish bites.

Mike Kilpatrick attributes the error to a lack of fishing experience since Will was on his first deep-sea fishing trip.

Will would have been the third person in North Carolina to catch three different species of billfish on the same day since the International Game Fish Association began keeping records in 1964.

Jack Vitek with the association says catching three specific species of fish on the first day of deep see fishing is incredible.

Still, Will says he thought the day was a success when he caught his first fish. He says reeling in all the fish was exhausting.