Angler Eats Massive Barracuda, Finds Out Later It Was a World Record


At just under 32 pounds, this Mexican barracuda made for a lot of tasty ceviche. It also could have made a new world record, if it was not already scarfed down. Dennis Tilden caught this impressively-sized fish during a tournament near Matapalo, Costa Rica recently. Unfortunately for Tilden, nobody told him about the barracuda’s potential record status until after the fish had been prepared.

“As the chef was preparing a barracuda ceviche and getting the rest ready for dinner, Dennis mentioned the captain’s comment. A check with the IGFA [International Game Fish Association] record book showed the biggest recorded was 28 lbs. Tilden’s fish at just under 32 lbs made a delicious world record meal,” wrote Todd Staley, fishing director at Crocodile Bay Resort, where the tournament was being held.

By then, it was much too late to bring the barracuda—or its fillets—to a certified scale and get an accurate weight. At least Tilden managed to score some ceviche for his trouble, and the rest of his fishing trip was as equally successful. The angler ended up winning day two of the Boston Whaler Tournament with released 350-pound marlin.

In the angler’s defense, freshly-caught barracuda is often described as an astoundingly tasty fish, but many anglers are often wary of eating the fish due to the possibility of ciguatera, a dangerous foodborne illness.

“You may be thinking to yourself that this is a dangerous proposition since some Atlantic barracuda are known to contain high levels of the toxin ciguatera they ingest when consuming certain coral reef animals,” Staley wrote. “Pacific barracuda however is considered safe for consumption so Dennis decided this record breaking fish should be eaten immediately instead of filling out all of the paperwork.”

According to IGFA, the current record for Mexican barracuda was set by Jikberto Cansari in 2010 in Isla Secas.

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