Mississippi Angler Catches Potential World Record Lionfish

   02.13.15

Jason Jones of Biloxi, Mississippi was expecting wahoo or tuna from his fishing trip last Saturday, but what he caught instead was something much more exotic—and a possible world record. According to the Sun Herald, Jones was fishing south of Dauphin Island when he reeled in a 1-pound, 11.2-ounce lionfish.

“It was a normal trip my friends and I try to make about twice a month. We were fishing at the popular MP-265 rig,” Jones told the Herald. “I didn’t have any idea it may be a record, but a buddy on the trip was a professional spear fisherman and he knew right away it had to be a record.”

If confirmed by the International Fish Game Association (IGFA), this Mississippi angler’s fish would narrowly push out the current all-tackle world record. That fish was caught in 2013 off the coast of Miami, Florida by Captain Mike Murias and weighed 1 pound and 10 ounces. Interestingly enough, the 2013 lionfish was the first of its kind ever recognized by IGFA, which generally only keeps records for species that weigh at least over one pound.

Jones mentioned that he will also be submitting the fish for recognition by the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, although the agency does not usually keep records for lionfish due to it being an invasive species.

Originally from the Indo-Pacific, lionfish have few natural predators in American waters and can pose a huge problem to native species. Additionally, lionfish have venomous ray fins that can cause headache, numbness, extreme pain, and even convulsions in humans. Their venom is rarely fatal, but is still a notable hazard to anglers and divers.

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