Wesley Brough, a surf casting guide in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, recently hooked a white snook that is expected to be certified by the International Game Fish Association as a new world record. The fish weighed 51-pounds 3-ounces, besting the previous record also caught in Cabo in 2004, weighing 47-pounds 4 ounces.
He was fishing with Matt Strehle from Virginia, and although the water conditions were tough, but the men caught two big rooster fish and a big jack before hooking into the snook.
“We just looked at each other and we both were both wondering, ‘We must be crazy for fishing out here.’ But we started casting and saw some big jacks in the waves and I hooked a big rooster over 50 pounds and handed it off to Matt, he landed it and we got pictures and released it.
I got another smaller rooster and Matt fought it, and then Matt got a 35-pound jack on his own. By now it was getting dark so we put on our backpacks and started walking back down the shore.”
While making the trek back, they noticed a school of baitfish in a frenzy near the shore, so Brough cast an 8.5-inch 3D Savage Gear Mack Stick into the frenzy and almost immediately the snook was hooked.
“There was a big blast in the wave and it was yanking line off the reel, and I asked Matt if he wanted to pull on this one.
He said ‘No way, I’ve already caught two roosters and a jack. You do it.”
Luckily Brough’s gear was rigged up for a big fight. He was using Daiwa Saltiga 20000H spinning reel, 100-pound braid, 125-pound mono leader.
“Now, I really thought it was another big rooster, the light was bad for any more photos, and it was late. So, I just cranked it the drag down and didn’t give it an inch, and a wave pushed it on the beach and I saw it wasn’t a big rooster, but a snook.
It just inhaled that lure, it was all the way in and down. I always release my fish, but it was just too much surgery to get it out when it was so deep.”
Once he hauled the fish to shore, he knew he had something special. While the length of the fish was impressive, it was the girth that really blew him away.
“I did the suitcase test. I can barely curl 50 pounds, and I couldn’t curl it.
Then I measured it, and my 44.5 pounder was longer at 54 inches than this one at 50, but this one was fatter — short and real fat, almost like it had eaten another snook. So I thought it might be a black snook.
I wasn’t going to be able to sleep until I knew it was a white snook, so I contacted the IGFA on July 1 and sent photos of fish’s fins because they are unique to Pacific black and white snook.
The two IGFA biologists, Zachery Bellapigna and Bruce Pohlot, confirmed it was a white snook.”
The record is now pending, and expected to be verified in the near future.