When it comes to big black drum, this one literally tips the scales.
On September 15, 1975, angler Gerald Townsend and his wife decided to launch into Delaware Bay for a day of surf fishing. The two ambitious anglers had no clue that an IGFA All Tackle Record was in front of them.
Townsend was using 25 pound test Trilene mono line and a single hook bottom rig with a cut mullet attached. After hooking up on this massive fish, it took Townsend over 30 minutes before he was able to singlehandedly beach the fish.
“When a fish gets that big it just doesn’t look the same,” he said. He just knew it was the biggest fish he had ever caught from the surf.
If you are unfamiliar with black drum fishing, the video below is a good primer.
After subduing his monster catch, Townsend took the fish to be weighed at a local tackle shop. It was weighed on an uncertified scale and showed a total weight of an amazing 114 pounds. The individual at the shop had a feeling that they may be dealing with a world record.
Unfortunately, due to the fish’s size, they were unable to positively identify it as a black drum. So, they called in their buddy who just happened to be the director of the Delaware Sportfishing Tournament, Frederick Bonner. Bonner was able confirm that Townsends massive catch was indeed a black drum, and suggested that they rush the fish to the Delaware Divisions of Weights and Measures to have the weight certified.
When all was said and done, the fish was confirmed at 113 pounds 1 ounce and became the IGFA All Tackle Record. The fish beat the 111 pound record caught the previous year and continues to stand till this day.