Fishing News

IGFA Great Marlin Race Winner

The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) today announced Lainey Jones as the winner of the IGFA Great Marlin Race (IGMR). The conservation award acknowledges the tagged billfish that traveled the farthest during the IGFA's fiscal year and is presented to the angler who placed the tag.  

The IGMR, presented by Costa Sunglasses, is a partnership between the IGFA and Stanford University.  Recreational anglers, armed with cutting-edge satellite tag technology, become citizen scientists and deploy tags on the billfish they catch during tournaments. These tags transmit data to researchers who learn more about billfish biology and how the fish interact with their habitat.  

The 2019 IGMR officially concluded on September 30th. Nineteen tags reported a total of 17,926 miles of linear distance and logged 3,234 days of billfish migration and diving behavior.   

On August 8th, 2019, a satellite tag sponsored by Jones was deployed on an estimated 300-pound blue marlin while fishing on the Mama Who during the Bermuda Triple Crown. Two hundred forty-two days later, the tag surfaced and began reporting data off Africa's west coast. Jones' blue marlin traveled 4,166 nautical miles (nm) and had a total estimated track of 6,847 nm.  

"The IGMR has fundamentally changed the way that researchers, policymakers, resource managers, and reactional anglers understand billfish,” said IGFA Conservation Director Jason Scratwieser. “Anglers like Lainey are at the core of this conservation initiative and are instrumental in ensuring a healthy future for these vital species."  

Since the program launched in 2011, the IGFA has tagged over 400 billfish and logged over 218,000 miles of movement. All tag data are free and available to researchers worldwide, which has resulted in seven peer-reviewed scientific publications utilizing IGMR data. The data also informed policy; IGMR data were used as testimony before the United States Congress, aiding the passage The Billfish Conservation Act of 2012, which now prohibits the importation of marlin, sailfish, and spearfish into the continental United States.   

For more information on the IGMR, visit: Or, learn more about the IGMR Winner