During the ‘3rd Annual Offshore Rodeo Fishing Tournament’ last weekend out of Fort Myers, Florida one angler reeled in a 124.18-pound Black Grouper that might break the current world record. I say ‘might’ because this 124.18-pound black grouper is only .18-pounds heavier than the current world record of exactly 124-pounds, and which was caught back on Jan. 11, 2003, by angler Tim Oestreich out in the Gulf of Mexico off Texas.
The angler who caught the fish is Alex Newman of Bonita Springs, and he’s now going through the proper paperwork and channels to have his 124.18-pound black grouper certified as the all-tackle IGFA World Record for Black Grouper. That’s all fine and dandy, but you’re here to see pics of the gargantuan fish, aren’t you?
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) June 9, 2015
Bonita man using local company's custom-made rod catches potential world-record black grouper. pic.twitter.com/EjEkhkkzLU
— Michael Braun (@MichaelBraunNP) June 7, 2015
The News-Press has the story on this pending IGFA World Record Black Grouper:
Newman said he and his crew fished for about 2-and-a-half hours. “We thought we were defeated,” he said. “Then all of a sudden our luck changed.”
Newman’s grouper weighed 124.18 pounds and was measured at 57 inches with a 48 inch girth.
“That was a trip,” Newman said Sunday. “I wasn’t even expecting it to be a record-breaking fish.”
Newman said that he and his crew on the Honey Money, a 33-foot Invincible, at first thought the fish was about 90-pounds.
“But when we were lifting it up we couldn’t lift it,” he laughed. “I fish the Gulf a lot. This is the biggest fish I’ve caught. When that thing popped up it was like a dinosaur.”
“They fight hard,” he said of the black grouper. “They’re heavy. You need a big reel and stay on the fish.”
He said an angler also needs a lot of luck.
“Everything has to come together and luck has to be on your side,” he said. “You have make sure it doesn’t run into a shelf or tie up in a wreck.”
Newman, 30, owner-operator of Executive Woodworks of Fort Myers, has fished in the tournament previously and this year was using a custom bent-butt rod built by Sewell Custom Rods of Fort Myers.
In the headline I said that this fish weighed more than me back in high school, and that wasn’t a lie. I was on crew (rowing), and had a weight requirement to remain under 120-pounds for races. It was goddamn miserable, but we won a lot and that part wasn’t miserable at all. What was miserable was running ~5-miles a day while wearing a thermal shirt, outdoors in Florida with 90+ temps and 100% humidity. But I was in fact smaller than this fish for over half of my high school years, until I decided crew wasn’t worth it and ditched it for golf.
For more on this world record black grouper caught off of Ft. Myers, Florida you can follow the link above to the News-Press!