Angler may have shattered world record with catch of massive sheephead

Angler may have shattered world record with catch of massive sheephead

Outdoors

Angler may have shattered world record with catch of massive sheephead

A California angler may have shattered the world record for a type of fish known for its bizarre but striking appearance and powerful jaws.

Brad Johnston, fishing on Sept. 12 off Ventura, reeled in a California sheephead that weighed 34.8 pounds on a certified scale at Channel Islands Sportfishing.

Brad Johnston poses with potential world-record sheephead. Photo: Channel Islands Sportfishing

The International Game Fish Assn. lists a 28.6-pound sheephead as the all-tackle world record. That fish was caught off Mexico in 1999.

Johnston, who was aboard a private boat, was fishing at an artificial reef three miles offshore, according to the Ventura Star.

The IGFA will have to review Johnston’s record submission before approving or denying the application. That process usually takes several weeks.

California sheephead probes the depths of the Channel Islands. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Johnson had not responded to an inquiry for catch details by the time this post was published.

California sheephead, which crush the shells of urchins and other crustaceans with their powerful jaws and sharp teeth, are found from Central California to Mexico’s Revillagigedo Islands.

Males are larger and feature the broad black head and tail sections, with the red stripe in the middle. Females are mostly pink with white bellies.

Though not a glamour fish, sheephead are prized for their odd appearance and delectable flesh.

The photo showing Johnston’s catch has been circulating on various fishing-related social media pages. Stated Angler Chronicles on Facebook: “Now that’s a goat!”

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