A Mississippi angler recently made a once-in-a-lifetime amberjack catch offshore Biloxi.
Amberjacks are one of the toughest fish to catch in the Gulf. They’re strong fighters that provide anglers with a test of skills and wills. Last month, a Mississippi angler was afforded one of those tests and won.
On March 22, Mississippi angler Don Wheeler landed a 126-pound amberjack that was big enough to beat the current state saltwater amberjack record by a pound, according to GulfLive.com. He caught the massive fish just 30 minutes into his fishing trip with friends aboard the ship Lovin’ Life.
Wheeler knew he was in for a fight when the fish bit his line.
“Basically, I was holding on to the rod because the fish was putting a tremendous strain on my arms, back and legs,” Wheeler told Gulflive.com. “Amberjacks tend to pull like a donkey and I did my best to hold on. But my adrenaline was too high to quit.”
Wheeler and the boat crew used two gaffs to bring the massive amberjack onboard. The amberjack measured 73 inches in length with a girth of 37 inches. Once back to shore, the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources weighed and documented the catch. The state’s Commission on Marine Resources will officiate the record later this month.
Wheeler said it was one of the top fishing experiences he’s ever had.
“I may never do anything like that again. But that’s okay because I had this once-in-a-lifetime experience. And that’s no fish tale.”
Have you ever caught an amberjack? What was your fishing experience like? Share your story in the comments section.