Updated: Jun 28
Joey Austin with a Billfish Grand Slam
Young Joey Austin made history with the Dreamboats costarica team on 17th November 2021 at Los suenos when he managed to catch not one, not two, but three billfish of one Specie all in one day! He caught one black marlin, one blue marlin, one stripe marlin, and also 2 mahi. One of these fish, the blue marlin, is vulnerable, while the striped marlin is near threatened. The mahi mahi fish, thankfully, has a stable population, though. On the other hand, there isn’t even enough data to determine the conservation status of the black marlin.
Nevertheless, these are all popular gamefish with sport fishing yachts; thus, overfishing can be threatening. However, the grand slam authorities encourage fishermen to ensure proper catch-and-release techniques to keep these fish safe. After all, what fun is there in torturing or killing marine animals? The only fun is the challenge of trying to catch them, and then sending them back on their way is equally important to ensure their safety. But even if you’re a very experienced fisherman, the likelihood that you will ever catch any of these four fish is extremely rare, next to impossible, actually.
However, Joey Austin did in one day what many very experienced fishermen can never do throughout their life! This is big news because these fish are super hard to catch, and to catch 4 of them together all in a day’s time- FANTASTIC! Therefore, the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) always appreciates and acknowledges such individuals with a certificate of recognition. But they also mandate that no one else can touch the fishing rod because this helps make the game fair for everyone. Thus, the rules are pretty strict, and it’s not easy for someone to be declared the winner of a gram slam!
Just like other sports, marlin fishing is quite competitive and challenging. Over the recent years, many people have started taking an interest in sport fishing charters, but only half as many people are capable of catching a pacific blue marlin in costa rica . Fishing, though it might seem like an easy task, is super difficult. Not everyone can master this sport, and so, though many people might consider fishing as a hobby, they might not all be very good at it. The art of catching fish requires advanced skill, knowledge, and physical capacity, and thus, Joey definitely deserves all the praise for being able to catch three fish in one day! And not just any fish, at that!
And whatever your take on the situation, you must admit that this feat was no joke. Even if you think luck is the culprit, the achievement is still remarkable, especially since all those fish were some of the rarest fish in the ocean!
History of the Billfish Grand Slam’s Prestige
As the name implies, the Billfish Grand Slam is very 'grand.' So much so, some people might even consider it a royal slam….but it’s just a fishing competition?
Well, not exactly! The Billfish Grand Slam is a big deal.
In 2012, sport-fisher Kitt Toomey decided to break the IGFA Royal Billfish Slam’s 2004 record by catching all nine billfish species within 36 days. And surprisingly, the group managed to catch all the nine species of billfish within 26 days- setting a whole new record! And thus, the billfish Grand Slam is considered very prestigious.
The IGFA’s Grand Slam Club strives to recognize the fishermen who can catch a collection of different game fish species within the same day. According to the International Angling Rules, an individual must be able to catch at least 3 of the fish from a category to be eligible. Also, the catches must all have been made within the same calendar day. Plus, they should be documented as proof. Three species in a day means a grand slam, four species in a day equals a super grand slam, and five species in a day earns you the fantasy slam. For an ordinary fisherman, this is a tough challenge. In fact, even fishermen with years of experience might not be able to catch these rare species of fish. Yet, a 13-year-old 8th-grader managed to make the grand slam!
Slam and Trophy Clubs by the IGFA are differentiated based on the technique used to catch the fish as well- conventional gear or fly tackle? So, if you want to be applicable for the fly tackle slam, all of your catches should be caught on fly tackle. Moreover, the class tippet should be 20-pounds or less in breaking strength. And of course, the winner’s prize is to have their name recorded in the World Record Game Fishes books.
To apply, all you need to do is download the app, fill out the application and get it notarized by the authorities. And once your application is complete, you can submit it to the IGFA along with pictures as proof. The IGFA’s official address is c/o World Records Coordinator, 300 Gulf Stream Way, third floor, Dania FL 33004. Furthermore, you should know that the IGFA wants you to take pictures with your catch. Nevertheless, it is still allowed to send in a photo of your catch, so long as sufficient witnesses are provided. Therefore, make sure to get high-quality images of your catch taken because these images have a high chance of getting featured in an issue of the International Angler.
Thus, put simply, the Grand slam is no joke. And considering the legacy left by people like Toomey, this is definitely a prestigious event and a time for all fishermen to try taking the lead. So, when Joey Austin won the grand slam, the world of fishermen was understandably in awe of his fishing skills.
What’s the Takeaway?
The IGFA conducts the prestigious billfish grand slam wherein you must catch at least three fish species of one category to qualify. These fish are some of the rarest species and, thus, nearly impossible to catch. Hence, Joey Austin made history when he managed to complete the rare billfish grand slam in just one day why costa rica is such an amazing fishing destination.
Other compositions and tournaments exist like triple crown billfish tournaments and the signature triple crown billfish tournament, which is a world class event at Los Sueños Resort and Marina on Costa Rica’s Central Pacific Coast is the Billfish Capital of the World and is home to the Los Sueños Billfish Tournaments.