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Alabama Fisherman Lands 85-Pound Snapper with 30-Pound-Test Monofilament (Pic)
That giant orange fish with the horrifying fangs? Oh, that’s just a an 84.9-pound cubera snapper. It was caught in the Gulf of Mexico, 40 miles off the coast of Alabama by fisherman Brett Rutledge. And yes, when all the results are in, it will break the state record. Shatter it, actually. By 32 pounds.
Ruteledge, a recreational angler who also has a commercial license, was out trolling for king mackerel with friend David Simms last Tuesday when they got a hit on of their lines.
“At first I thought it was a big amberjack because I’d caught quite a few jacks earlier,” Rutledge told AL.com. “But when it ran away from the wreck we were fishing, I immediately thought it was a shark. Then I got a visual on it and told Davis, ‘Get the gaff!’”
The Alabama state record for cubera snappers, held by a guy named Michael Crawley since 1988, was 52 pounds. However, Rutledge took his catch straight to the Alabama Marine Resources Division office on Dauphin Island to have it weighed on their certified scales, and it came up as 84.9 pounds. So unless the Marine Resources Division finds some technicality with which to disqualify him, Rutledge is going to be the new record-holder by 32 pounds.
The amazing thing is that the rod Rutledge caught his trophy fish on was set up for king mackerel, and thus had a smaller reel with only 30-pound-test line. So it took him a good 30 minutes just to get the thing up alongside his boat.
“I’ve been around some pretty big stuff caught,” Rutledge said. “I’ll have to say this was probably one of the most exciting fish because I’ve never caught one off Alabama before and I know how rare it is to catch one this big.”
Well said, Brett.