The angler in this picture will be talking about this catch, the one that got away, for the rest of his life.
When Ohio angler Bobby Kotch caught a whopper fish earlier this year on Lake Istokpoga in Florida, he had no idea that he was holding a world record tilapia in his hands.
According to Ohio.com, Kotch had never seen a tilapia before, but he could tell it was a notable catch, so he measured it, weighed it and took some pictures. Then he set it free.
When Kotch returned home to Ohio, he began thinking about the big fish he’d let go. After doing some online research, he discovered the catch was big enough to break the world record: 24 inches and 9.6 pounds. Coincidentally, the world record tilapia was also caught in Florida.
“I was mad I threw it back and didn’t keep it,” Kotch said. “It was just insane. I don’t know what to think.”
Kotch was fishing for bass at the time.
“I was using a spinner bait, with two blades that spin around on the end, and it must have been in its nest and it tried to grab it and kill it,” Kotch said. “It was a fluke thing, really.”
In hindsight, Kotch said he wishes he didn’t let it go, but he’s still happy to have caught the potential world record tilapia.
“I was mad, but then, how can you be mad? I know I caught it. That picture is a good thing because a fish story without a picture doesn’t mean too much.”
Do you fish for tilapia? What’s the biggest one you’ve ever caught?