Bama Bro Nabs Last Minute Fishing Charter, Catches New World Record Trout Measuring 3-Feet In Length
Luke Ledbetter is an ordained minister from Boaz, Alabama who loves to fish, and on a recent trip to the Space Coast of Florida Luke was able to grab a last minute fishing charter with Captain Peter Deeks of Merritt Island after a cancellation. After feeling a sizable tug of his line Luke Ledbetter thought he might have a big ol’ snook or one of the famous Indian River redfish that get so big, but when it got boat side Captain Peter (check his fishing pics out and follow him on Instagram) immediately realized they had a special fish on their hands. The speckled sea trout caught by Luke Ledbetter measured 34.25 inches in length (87 centimeters), which is 8 centimeters longer than the current all-tackle IGFA (length) record of 79 centimeters.
After getting this once-in-a-lifetime gator trout into the boat and measuring it they captain immediately called the International Game and Fish Association to report their catch, and started the proceedings to have Mr. Ledbetter’s pending world record be certified as a new IGFA fishing world record.
Every so often I'll catch a fish that really impresses me...that happened on this morning's charter!!! Luke bested an absolute monster - she was quickly released after measurements. This will be the new IGFA All-Tackle Length Record. Thank you God for such an amazing creature!!! @pennfishing @avidgear @oakley @brpevinrude @stcroixrods #Godscreation #gatortrout #trout #floridasportsman #indianriver #mosquitolagoon #floridafishing
The speckled sea trout is one of the most common game fish in the state of Florida, growing up I’d catch speckled trout 5-to-1 when it comes to snook or redfish. We’d be hauling in speckled trout all day, then taking them home to smoke and turn into a smoked trout dip. It’s quite possibly my favorite fish to catch, because they’re easy-ish to catch and they’re mad as hell. Whether we were on a boat or in kayaks, we’d just go out over some grass flats and cats across sand holes. Basically what we’d be looking for is white patches amongst the green of the water, these are holes of sand in between the huge underwater fields of sea grass. The trout sit on the edges of those holes and wait for bait to swim into the exposed area, the clear white area between the grass, and they attack whatever it is that’s moving like a bat out of hell. We’d toss slimy slugs out there, yozuri’s, basically anything that moves and could grab attention and we’d be catching trout all day. That probably encompasses like 35% of the fishing I did throughout my life.
“Every so often we’ll catch a fish that really impresses me, and this one did,” said Deeks, who runs Native Sons Fishing Guides. “I’ve caught longer fish before, but the girth on this one was just incredible.”
The trout taped out at 34.25 inches, or 87 centimeters. The International Game Fish Association’s record for length currently stands at 79 centimeters. Pending approval, Ledbetter’s spotted seatrout will be recognized by the IGFA’s new All-Tackle Length record program, which awards catches based on length rather than weight and requires that fish be released alive and in good health.
They kept the fish out of the water for just moments to measure it and snap a few photos. They did not weigh it, but Deeks estimates the trout weighed about 14 pounds.
“The largest trout I’ve ever weighed was a 33-inch trout that was 13.9 pounds, but this one was even fatter,” Deeks said. “But I hate weighing them, hate hanging them by the jaw. They’re really sensitive fish.”
After documenting the catch, Deeks immediately called the IGFA to report the catch.
“I knew it was a big trout, but it didn’t register in my mind how special it was until Peter made that phone call,” Ledbetter said. “It was euphoric knowing I may have caught a world record.”
CLICK HERE to book a charter with Captain Deeks or one of the other Native Sons Fishing Guides and have a chance at catching a world record trout of your own on Florida’s Indian River over on the Space Coast. You can also find Captain Peter ‘Gator’ Deeks on Instagram here, and check out the pics of him slaying fish every day! Also to check out the gallery of the other massive trout (and redfish + snook) the Native Sons Fishing Guides are catching CLICK HERE.