A New Record African Pomp?

Victoria Watts, of Titusville, Fla., had only been fishing a couple years on June 9 when she caught the fish of a lifetime. Her 45.8-pound African pompano is big enough to claim the IGFA women’s 20-pound line class record… if Watts ever gets around to submitting the paperwork.

A New Record African Pompano

Watts and her former boyfriend Tyler Baruch were drifting live goggle eyes and blue runners over about 300 feet of water out of Boca Raton Inlet. They had been fishing all day without so much as a bite when they decided it was time for one last pass. Well, that last drift did end up being their last of the day, because they needed to get to the docks and weigh a potential record.

“When I picked up the rod, Tyler knew right away that I was about to get spooled,” Watts said. “He ran to bring in all the other lines and then fired up the boat to chase it.”

After maybe 20 minutes of following the fish and fighting it on a 5000 spinning reel with 20-pound braid, Watts was finally able to gain some ground. She said they thought it was a big sea turtle when they first caught sight of it. When the big African pomp came boatside, it took two gaffs and both anglers to bring it over the rail.

“When we finally got it in, we were going crazy,” Watts said.

The IGFA All Tackle World Record African pompano weighed 50-pounds, 8-ounces. It was caught out of Daytona Beach by Tom Sargent in 1990. The existing women’s 20-pound line class record is 39-pounds, 5-ounces. That fish was caught by Karen Hogan out of Ft. Pierce, Fla. in 1985.

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