'Since the beginning of time it has been the dream of man, particularly those who follow the Sea, to view or take a game fish weighing 1000 pounds...'
Alfred C. Glassell Jr. stands with his iconic 1,560 lb black marlin.
So begins a letter from Alfred C. Glassell Jr. to Michael Lerner, then the President of the IGFA. The year was 1952, and Glassell had just caught his first World Record black marlin.
Though he ended the letter by calling the 1,025 lb catch 'the greatest fish ever taken', another angler broke the record within a few days, and Glassell regained it for a second time shortly thereafter with a 1,090 lb catch made in the same area.
But Glassell would write to Lerner again just more than a year later to share news of one more black marlin - the 1,560 lb fish he caught in August of 1953 off the coast of Cabo Blanco in Peru.
August 4, 2013 marks the 60th anniversary of Glassell's third black marlin All-Tackle world record, the catch that continues to hold the All-Tackle and men's 60 kg (130 lb) line class titles to this day.
The hour and 45 minute fight also continues to hold the imaginations of big game anglers, for the iconic marlin is said to have soared from the water 49 times before being boated. Footage of the grander's tailwalking was so awe-inspiring that it was later included in the film version of Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea.
Although most often remembered for catching one of the largest, longest standing, and best known IGFA World Records for a billfish, Glassell was also a member of the U.S. Team in the International Tuna Cup Matches for seven years, serving as captain of the 1952 second-place team, and an avid freshwater fly fisherman. For these angling accomplishments and more, Glassell was inducted into the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame in 2001.
Glassell's 1,560 lb black marlin may well be one of the most recognized and revered world records in sportfishing history.