WORLD RECORD CATCH
"Aboard the Sweet Jody!"
Gag Grouper, 50 lb. 8 oz.,
IFGA Line Class Division
~ Louis Williams~
World record catch aboard the
Sweet Jody- It happened in October, but took about 5 months to get certified.
Here's the story...
MY WORLD RECORD CATCH
My world record catch started with a call from my son, who plays for the
Carolina Panthers, telling me that he wouldn’t be playing that Sunday, & that I
should go fishing…So I did!
I got all my gear together the
night before. I had Back Country Blue Ande on my Garcia Mitchell 406 spinning
reel. Onto that, I spliced a 3’ leader of 60# Blue Ande and then snelled on a
#11 Mustad hook. My rod is a 7’ Heavy Action Penn Slammer.
It was October 26th,
2003 and I headed out of the Destin Harbor into the Gulf of Mexico with Captain
Cliff Cox on the Sweet Jody for an 8 hour trip.
Fishing was going great that
day! We were in 165’ of water when I pulled a nice vermillion snapper out of the
live well. I whispered a few encouraging words to my bait as I hooked it on my
spinning rod. I even gave it a kiss for luck before tossing it about 40’ behind
I stuck the rod in a holder,
grabbed my bottom rig & dropped it down…That’s when it happened…
I looked up to see my spinning
rod bent over! I crammed my bottom rig into another rod holder to free up my
hands. Geeze, the pressure on the spinning rod was so strong, I couldn’t get it
out of the holder. Finally, I pulled the rod back and managed enough slack to
get it out of the holder and into my gutbucket without losing the fish!
That fish made three strong
runs. I was wondering what I had hooked into. Would it be a tuna, or maybe a
cobia? Could it be a big mackeral, or a wahoo? I was only hoping my line would
hold so I could find out !
With the rod held high, I just
kept reeling and reeling. When we finally caught sight of it our mouths dropped
The Mates were ready. Wade
Fleshman held the other Fishermen back while John Gilbert gaffed my trophy. Wade
looked at me & said ‘I have to tell Cliff that you just caught a Golly
In Destin, the Fishing Rodeo
lasts the whole month of October. We got back to the weigh in and my 50 lb 8 oz
Gag Grouper took 2nd place in the Party boat Division, behind a 52 lb
that had also been caught on the Sweet Jody. My Grouper had to hold for 5 more
days until the end of the Rodeo, which it did! At the award ceremony I was
presented a trophy and a rod & Penn reel. Winning in the Rodeo was great and
another advantage was having the necessary documentation to apply for the world
I’m thrilled that I have a new
World Record with the IGFA, in the line class division.
You know, I don’t usually talk
to or kiss my bait…well, I never used to!