It could be a new state record -- a massive fish weighing in at nearly 500 pounds was pulled out of the Gulf of Mexico this week.
Fishermen are known for telling stories that are sometimes larger than life. But what this crew reeled in was really big -- a nearly 500 pound swordfish.
"This is the biggest one that we've caught here in the Gulf of Mexico," boat captain Jeff Wilson said. "It was 500 the day before but we had to ice it and bring it in and it loses weight during that process."
The crew aboard the Booby Trap sport fishing boat caught what may turn out to be the largest recorded swordfish ever caught in the state. A fisherman named Brian Barclay was holding the lucky rod. The fish measured 107 inches and weighed 493 pounds. The previous record is 341 pounds and 124 inches, set back in January 2011. And as you might imagine, this swordfish put up one heck of a fight.
Wilson said, "He stayed on that fish. He fought hard for four hours in the hot sun. We had fans on him, we were drenching him with water, you name it – anything to keep him going. We cheered him on, egged him on, so to speak."
They were 100 miles off shore and had been at it for more than three days, fishing 24 hours a day before they came across the big one.
"It's a labor of love," said crew member Matt Reed. "You've got to have all your time invested just in this."
The swordfish was weighed, photographed and a sample was taken from the fin to send to the state for verification. Then it was fileted. All that remains of the big guy is his head and bill, but his fight is well-documented and it is one fish story these fishermen will never forget.
"This is the greatest thing in the world," Wilson said.
The crew of the Booby Trap should know in a week or two if this swordfish is officially one for the record books.