By: Josh Fiallo | Article Courtesy: tampabay.com | Originally published 7/28/2018 | Please click here for original article.
Above: Rick Whitley and his record bluefin tuna. ROFFS™ clients on the “You Never Know” Image Courtesy: FWC Twitter
It would take Rick Whitley more than three hours to reel in an 827-pound bluefin tuna off the shore of Destin in May 2017.
The fish was the largest known bluefin tuna caught in Florida’s waters at the time, but Whitley would have to wait more than a year for the catch to officially be recognized by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission as such.
On Tuesday, that confirmation would finally come.
The FWC released five new Florida saltwater fishing records in a statement, including Whitley’s mega tuna.
This is the first time a record bluefin catch was recorded in Florida, according to the agency.
Other new records recognized by the agency included a 4-pound, 8-ounce hardhead catfish caught by Ethan Pillitteri; a 35-pound, 9-ounce almaco jack caught by Lewis Sapp; a 2-pound kingfish (whiting) caught by Raymond A. Hathorn, Jr.; and a 26-pound horse-eye jack caught by Sharon Kartrude Pryel, the release said.