Giant Cubera Snapper Caught in Alabama Would Crush State Record by 32 Pounds

Kyle NewportFeatured ColumnistJuly 14, 2014

via Brett Rutledge via

When a fisherman makes a catch this big, it was definitely worth the battle.

Brett Rutledge and David Simms recently went fishing off the coast of Dauphin Island, Alabama. That's where they made the catch of a lifetime.

After one of their lines got hit, the two went to work on reeling the fish in. They didn't know what kind of fish it was at first, but they knew that it was going to be a struggle to get it onto the boat.

Here's what Rutledge had to say about the adventure, via's Jeff Dute:

At first I thought it was a big amberjack because I'd caught quite a few jacks earlier. But when it ran away from the wreck we were fishing, I immediately thought it was a shark. Then I got a visual on it and told David, 'Get the gaff!

When David got the gaff in it, he said he couldn't get it over the side, so I had to put down the rod and help him. As soon as it hit the deck I knew it was over 60 or 70 pounds. I told him, 'That one's going to have a shot at being a state record.'

Not even Rutledge was able to guess the true size of the fish, which turned out to be a cubera snapper. The catch weighed in at 84.90 pounds on certified scales at the Alabama Marine Resources Division office on Dauphin Island. If officially confirmed by the Marine Resources Division, it would destroy the old record of 52 pounds set back in 1988.

via Brett Rutledge via

A fish that big is going to put up a fight. It took Rutledge and Simms about 30 minutes to get the four-foot-long snapper on the boat. Rutledge was especially lucky the fish didn't get away, as he caught it using only 30-pound-test monofilament line.

Rutledge, second from left, also was part of a record tiger shark catch.
Rutledge, second from left, also was part of a record tiger shark catch.(Photo courtesy Tyler Kennedy)

Oddly, this wouldn't be the first time that Rutledge has made it into the Alabama record books. According to Dute, Rutledge formerly held the state record for scamp and black snapper. He was also a part of a group that caught a 948-pound tiger shark a few years ago in the Outcast Mega Shark Tournament. 

Although he has caught some big fish in the past, Rutledge thought this was a pretty special catch:

"I've been around some pretty big stuff caught. I'll have to say this was probably one of the most exciting fish because I've never caught one off Alabama before and I know how rare it is to catch one this big."

It never gets old.

[, h/t Wide Open Spaces]