A Spotsylvania County man caught a 17-pound, 6-ounce northern snakehead fish, setting a new world record. His catch has been officially stamped the biggest ever.
Caleb Newton made the biggest catch of his life June 1 during a trip to Aquia Creek where he was participating in a fishing competition. The fish earned two records for Newton from the International Game Fish Association; one for the biggest northern snakehead fish ever and the second for caching it using a 20-pound fishing line. The new record beat an earlier one set in Japan in 2004 where the fish weighed 2 ounces less.
"His record has been approved and we'll be sending the certificate later this week, or early next week," said Jack Vitek, world-record coordinator for the Florida-based IGFA, according to an Inquisitr report.
The fish will be mounted either at Newton's home or the sports shop that helped him weigh the fish. According to a Washington Times report, Newton had to battle the fish for a full one minute before his friend helped him reel it in.
Fox News reported Newton as saying that the 3-foot long fish barely fitted into his cooler.
Newton and his friends have been catching big snakeheads in and around Aquia Creek for several years, most of them weighing between 12 and 14 pounds.
Experts are yet to determine how the snakehead found its way to the Potomac River. The species was first discovered in the U.S. in a Crofton, Md., pond in 2002 and was confirmed as a native of Asia. The fish gets its name "Frankenfish" from its appearance - large scales on its head, long dorsal fins and large, protruding mouth chock full of sharp teeth.