What started off as an uneventful fishing trip for one Bonita Springs man ended in the harvest of a potential world record fish. According to the News-Press, Alex Newman and his crew were participating in the 3rd Annual Offshore Rodeo Fishing Tournament, a charity event in the Gulf, when they hooked an absolutely massive black grouper on Saturday.
“When we were lifting it up we couldn’t lift it,” Newman said with a laugh. “I fish the Gulf a lot. This is the biggest fish I’ve caught. When that thing popped up it was like a dinosaur.”
Black groupers are notoriously fierce fighters but it was just what Newman and his team were waiting for. They had been fishing for almost three hours in the tournament with little success, but their luck turned around thanks to the large grouper. The anglers initially estimated the fish at 90 pounds, which would give them a big advantage in the tournament’s grouper category.
“We went crazy! We instantly gaffed that fish, got him in the boat, and you can’t describe the feeling. It was awesome,” Newman told NBC 2.
Yet the grouper was even larger than he expected. On a scale it weighed 124.18 pounds and measured 57 inches long and 48 inches in girth. At that weight, Newman found himself in a predicament that every angler dreads.
The grouper he had just caught was larger than the current world record, but just only. The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) recognizes a 124-pound grouper caught by Tim Oestreich III off Texas in 2003 as the world’s largest. Still, a difference of three ounces is more than enough to give Newman the new record if IGFA confirms his catch. The angler says that he will be submitting an application to IGFA for review and is currently waiting for Florida officials to confirm the fish as a state record as well.
You can watch an interview with him below: