Giant Cubera Snapper Could Break Spearfishing World Record

Giant Cubera Snapper Could Break Spearfishing World Record

A Texas spearfisher landed a massive snapper while diving in the Gulf of Mexico near the town of Port Aransas earlier this month. The fish is now being considered as a possible world record catch.

The 137-pound cubera snapper was taken by a Texas-based angler named Braden Sherron. Multiple news reports have pointed out that the fish outweighs a previous all-tackle record for Atlantic cubera snapper recorded by the International Game Fish Association (IGFA). But a representative with the IGFA told MeatEater that it won’t qualify for their record because that organization does not consider fish taken with spearfishing equipment.

If Sheron’s impressive fish does take a record, it will likely be recognized by the International Underwater Spearfishing Association (IUSA). The largest cubera snapper in the IUSA records weighed 130 pounds and was taken in April 2018 with a pole spear. The largest cubera snapper taken with a speargun, according to the IUSA, was taken off the coast of Brazil in 2006.

Word of Sherron’s potential record-breaking catch began to circulate on Friday, June 10, when the Port Aransas Fisherman’s Wharf, an area marina and fishing center, posted photos of Sherron with the massive snapper on their Facebook page.

“Shoutout to Braden Sherron with this pending Texas and world record breaking cubera snapper,” the post read. Accompanying photos show a scale display reading 137 and Sheron standing next to the hoisted fish with a filet knife in hand.

According to IGFA records, the current all-tackle record for Atlantic cubera snapper was set in Garden Bank, Louisiana in June of 2007 with a fish weighing 124 pounds and 12 ounces.

The IGFA describes the cubera as “the giant of all snappers, attaining weights in excess of 100 pounds (45 kg) and an overall length of 4 feet” and calls it a hard fighter on light tackle and a fine-food fish. The species is found only in the western Atlantic and ranges primarily from Florida and Cuba down to Brazil.

According to Newsweek, when Sherron speared the possible record-setter he was freediving, or diving without the aid of breathing equipment. Judging by his YouTube channel, which boasts some 24,000 subscribers, Sherron is no novice to the world of spearfishing. His self-filmed spearfishing videos date back to 2016.

Adult cubera snappers are solitary fish that prefer to inhabit nearshore rocky ledges and overhangs. While the fish mature around four or five years of age, they’ve been known to live as long as 55 years in their natural habitat. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, cubera snappers harvested off the coast of Florida commonly weigh about 40 pounds.

Feature image via Port Aransas Fishermans Wharf Facebook page.

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