The speckled seatrout, also known as the spotted seatrout or speckled trout, is a popular and highly sought-after gamefish found along the Gulf Coast and Atlantic Coast of the United States. These fish are known for their beautiful markings, excellent fighting ability, and delicious taste. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the largest speckled seatrout ever caught and the story behind this impressive fish.
According to the International Game Fish Association (IGFA), the current world record for the largest speckled seatrout ever caught stands at 17 pounds, 4 ounces. This fish was caught on October 8, 1997 by angler Dr. Bruce Shuman while fishing in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Corpus Christi, Texas. Dr. Shuman was using live bait and a Penn reel with a 12-pound test line when he hooked into the giant seatrout. It took him 20 minutes to land the fish, which measured 35 inches in length and had a girth of 21 inches.
The story behind this record-breaking seatrout is an interesting one. Dr. Shuman, a dentist from Corpus Christi, had been fishing for seatrout for years and had caught several large fish, but nothing quite like this. He was fishing with a group of friends on a calm, sunny day when he hooked into the giant seatrout. At first, he thought it was a redfish, but as he started to bring the fish closer to the boat, he realized it was much bigger than any redfish he had ever caught. It wasn’t until he saw the distinctive spots on the fish’s sides that he realized it was a seatrout.
As he fought to bring the fish in, Dr. Shuman’s friends were amazed by the size and strength of the fish. It took several attempts to get the seatrout close enough to the boat to be gaffed, and when they finally got it onboard, they were stunned by its size. They knew immediately that they had caught a special fish and decided to have it weighed and certified as a world record.
After the catch, Dr. Shuman and his friends took the seatrout to a local fish market to have it weighed and certified. The fish market owner, who was a certified weighmaster, weighed the fish on a certified scale and verified that it weighed 17 pounds, 4 ounces. He then contacted the IGFA to report the catch and have it officially recognized as a world record. The IGFA confirmed that the seatrout was indeed a new world record and added it to their records.
Since that day, the record for the largest speckled seatrout ever caught has stood unchallenged. Dr. Shuman’s catch has become the stuff of legend among seatrout anglers, and many have tried to catch a fish of similar size, but so far, no one has been able to break the record.
In conclusion, the story of the largest speckled seatrout ever caught is a testament to the strength, beauty, and fighting spirit of these magnificent fish. Dr. Bruce Shuman’s catch of a 17-pound, 4-ounce seatrout off the coast of Texas in 1997 is a testament to his skill as an angler and the power of these fish. The record for the largest speckled seatrout ever caught has stood for over two decades, and it’s likely that it will continue to stand for many more. So, if you’re an angler looking to catch a giant speckled seatrout, keep an eye out for opportunities along the Gulf Coast or Atlantic Coast and don’t be afraid to try different techniques and bait to find what works best. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, the thrill of hooking into a giant seatrout is something that you’ll never forget. Just remember to always follow catch and release guidelines to ensure the sustainability of these beautiful fish and the health of the ecosystem.