Large Snapper-Consuming Amberjack Breaks South Carolina File

Fishing buddies Jim Carroll and Gordon Jobe left South Carolina’s Murrells Inlet round daybreak on Might 23 to chase dolphin and wahoo offshore. They have been aboard Jobe’s 32-foot Edgewater boat, Liberty Name, and after a gradual morning of trolling, they determined to maneuver spots and alter ways.

“We trolled a weed line for dolphin and wahoo about 60 miles offshore for some time with out success,” Carroll tells Out of doors Life. “Then we determined to run inshore to 100 toes of water and do some backside fishing. It’s a spot we situated final yr that’s only a flat space with none form of backside construction. However it all the time produces snapper, triggerfish, sea bass and others.”

The anglers started working immediately utilizing two-hook rooster rigs baited with squid strips. They have been placing loads of fish within the boat, however as they fished, one in all them would sometimes hook a snapper or set off, after which one thing larger would hit, and so they’d lose it.

“We couldn’t determine what was taking our fish,” stated Carroll, age 52, who lives in Myrtle Seaside. “However about midday I hooked a snapper or one thing, and wham, an enormous fish took my backside fish.”

Anglers with large amberjack.
Carroll (left) and Jobe stand subsequent to the amberjack after getting it weighed at a seafood market.

Picture courtesy Jim Carroll

It was an enormous amberjack, and Carroll says he’s positive it ate a smaller snapper off his line and hooked itself. He fought the brute utilizing a 7-foot stout rod and a Penn Fathom 40 reel loaded with 80-pound braided line.

“It was brutal. Actually a tricky, lengthy combat,” he says. “I’ve caught amberjacks as much as 80 kilos. However this fish was completely different — a lot stronger and bigger than something I’ve tangled with earlier than.”

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After battling the amberjack for almost an hour in deep water, the anglers determined to place their boat in gear to deliver the fish nearer to the floor. It’s a deep-water tactic that tuna and billfish anglers use often. And it labored for the South Carolina duo.

“There actually was no purpose that beast of a fish ever ought to have made it as much as our boat, but it surely did,” says Carroll. “I bought it boat aspect after it planed as much as the floor, and Gordon gaffed it. He pulled it excessive up the gunnel, and I hit it with one other gaff, and we each hauled it aboard.”

Angler lies next to huge amberjack.
A drained Jobe, who captained the boat that day, lies subsequent to the amberjack after gaffing it.

Picture courtesy Jim Carroll

Carroll and Jobe knew immediately that the fish was a state-record contender. They have been nonetheless a methods offshore and out of mobile phone vary, so the 2 anglers used their inReach to contact a buddy, who allow them to know the present South Carolina report was 123 kilos.

“That fish was virtually so long as me,” Caroll says of the 72.24-inch-long amberjack. “The factor was large. The fish didn’t battle a lot on the boat. It was worn out, and me, too.”

The anglers saved fishing, catching some extra backside fish and smaller amberjacks. Then they headed again to Murrells Inlet and docked their boat round 4 p.m. From there, the 2 anglers took the amberjack to a neighborhood deal with store, however the fish was too large for his or her scale to deal with. So, they went on to Seven Seas Seafood Market, the place the amberjack registered 129 kilos on an authorized scale.

A processed amberjack with fish found in its belly.
Fish processors discovered a recent vermillion snapper and two skates within the large amberjack’s stomach.

Picture courtesy Jim Carroll

That licensed weight was later verified by Kris Reynolds with the South Carolina Division of Pure Assets, and the company made Carroll’s state report official on June 29. The earlier report had solely been on the books for eight months.

“That amberjack was consuming fairly good at that spot earlier than I caught it,” Carroll says. “The loin fillets of that fish have been as giant as beef ribeye steaks. After they cleaned it [at Seven Seas] they discovered a 12-inch vermillion snapper in its abdomen and a pair of skates, that are like stingrays.”

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