Images via Charleston Fish Finder
Jim Lasher of Isle Palms, South Carolina was out for a day of deep sea fishing with his pals on the Charleston Fish Finder when he decided to make a run at the bottom fish known as the Gag Grouper. He tied on a Spro Bucktail Jig and tipped it with some cutbait around some bottom structure.
In 165 feet of water they dropped down and pulled up a monstrous 54 lb, 4 0z fish. This catch absolutely SHATTERED the previous record of 48 lbs, 8 oz. So, naturally, they called the SCDNR and weighed the fish for record confirmation. Then, rather than stuff, mount, or release their catch… THEY ATE IT.
Jim Lasher, the angler who reeled the fish in, is also a chef at Home Team BBQ on Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina. The fish produced over 30 lbs of meat, some of which was smoked and turned into tacos, shared among friends.
While we’re sure Chef Jim humanely killed, filleted, and cooked this gag grouper, and we’d love a taste of his fish tacos, we have to wonder: is this how you’d handle a state record catch?
Fun Facts about gag groupers via Charlotte Observer:
An interesting biological fact about gag groupers: They change sex from female to male with increased size, according to N.C. Marine Fisheries. Sexual transition occurs between 10 and 11 years of age, with sexual maturity reached at age 5 or 6.
“Gag,” as they are familiarly called, can live for 15 years, devouring scad, sardines, porgies, snappers, grunts, crabs, shrimp and squid..
The brownish-gray fish with dark “worm-like” markings on (their) sides are very tasty meals,” according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.