What is this World Record?

In case you ever wondered how the fishing is on the other side of the world… it’s good!

Off the northern coast of New Zealand, Pelagic Sportfishing regularly posts to social media epic catches of billfish like marlin and swordfish, as well as bluefin tuna and some fish North Americans would consider exotic, like yellowtail kingfish and sea bass that pull the scales to heavier than 80 pounds.

One of their recent catches may be one for the record books. While swordfishing, they hauled up something that was exotic to them. They called it a “large scale” pomfret. It weighed 21.4 kgs (a little more than 47 pounds) on certified scales, which outweighs the existing IGFA world record for “big-scale pomfret” by nearly 30 pounds.

“We had a bite which appeared to be a textbook sword bite and it dropped the hook. A quick wind to tease another bite and boom the tip loaded up,” reads a post on Facebook. “Now we thought angler Cam was on here, and it did all the right things to indicate we had a swordfish coming up. When it appeared it wasn’t what we thought it was, we were all stunned.”

The existing IGFA all tackle world record for big scale pomfret was caught out of St. Augustine, Fla. in 2004 by W. Gordon Davis. It weighed 20 pounds, 10 ounces (9.35 kg).

Therein lies the mystery. IGFA has no record category for “large scale pomfret,” and although this fish looks like a big-scale pomfret in photos, big-scale pomfret aren’t supposed to be in the Pacific Ocean. They live in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.

There are several other species of pomfret that look similar to this one, such as sickle pomfret, that are known to exist in the Pacific off New Zealand. However, this one is at least twice as heavy as any of the IGFA world records for those species. Whatever this fish is, with a positive identification and if everything checks out during the certification process, it would blow the existing world record out of the water or establish a new one.

So… what is this fish?

To see more action from New Zealand, see Pelagic Charters on Facebook.

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