A Texas fisherman has broken state records with his impressive bluefin tuna catch, weighing in at a whopping 876 pounds and 121 inches long.
Troy Lancaster, a 50-year-old angler from Port Aransas, Texas, snagged the massive fish back in mid-April, according to a report from The Houston Chronicle. After spending nine hours trying to net the fish and several more weeks waiting on official state analysis, The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has confirmed that it was the largest tuna fish caught in the state.
“When the fish got on the deck of the boat, it was like killing a big trophy deer,” Lancaster told the outlet. “There was absolutely no ground shrinkage.” Back on April 13, Lancaster took a boat out 115 miles outside of the port with Captain Justin Drummond and a crew of fishermen. After 9 a.m. the battle between man and fish began.
“The way that it responded we knew, we knew. We know the time of season … This is that time of year that we can encounter these things in the Gulf,” Drummond told The Houston Chronicle. It wasn’t until after 6 p.m. that man won the battle.
“It was just back and forth for about 7 or 8 … hours. Then we didn’t feel any more movement on the line, no more head shakes or tail shakes or anything. So from that point on, about the last hour and a half, we were fighting just dead weight on the fish,” Lancaster told the outlet.
Once the boat successfully reeled in the fish, the men claimed it took another hour to get it on board before returning to shore. On April 15, The Center for Sportsfish Science and Conservation posted to Facebook about the “possible record bluefin tuna.”
After a friendly competition in the comments section regarding the age of the fish, the conservation association informed followers that the “monster” was likely about 19 years old. Facebook fishermen invested in the case expressed awe at the impressive catch.
“Congratulations on that monster, that would make Wicked Tuna jealous,” one man commented. One even joked that he himself needs to make a trip out to Texas to catch a fish like Lancaster.
Several even hinted what a challenge it must have been to catch the fish given federal laws preventing tuna fishing in the Gulf. According to KXXV, however, accidental tuna catches reported within 24 hours, like Lancaster’s, are allowed so long as the fisherman holds a valid trophy-class fish permit.
The Center for Sportsfish Science and Conservation also noted that the previous record-breaking tuna was caught 36 years ago in 1985 and weighed 808 pounds, 70 pounds less than Lancaster’s.
Back in 2019, an Irish fisherman reeled in an impressive 600-pound fish. While certainly a much smaller fish, experts estimated that bluefin tuna to be worth $3 million.