It’s safe to assume that the bragging rights and attention that come with landing a state record fish are pretty satisfying.
You know what’s probably even more satisfying that all though? Cold hard cash.
A man in Mississippi man recently earned both though, when he landed the state’s new record swordfish during one of the biggest annual saltwater fishing tournaments in the country, the Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic.
The $300,000 prize didn’t come without some hard work though.
According to Outdoor Life, Captain Donny Jackson Jr. and his crew fought the fish for roughly 5-hours after hooking into it 200 miles west of the tournaments port in Biloxi. Captain Jackson is a professional fishing guide who runs his operation out of Venice, Louisiana, explained just how hard the record breaking fish fought.
“The fish kept doing these violent head shakes. We’d get him up a little, and then he’d go right back down to the bottom.
We thought that he was done after two and a half hours. It was just a big, big fish.”
The 2.5 hour mark was only halftime of the fight though, but after 5-hours the fish was finally tired enough to surrender. It took all 5 men aboard the to coral the fish onto the deck of their 39-foot boat.
Once the fish was on aboard, they made the long haul back to Biloxi and arrived just before the deadline to have fish weighed for entry into the tournament ended at 6 pm.
The fish weighed a whopping 309-pounds 9-ounces and measured 6-feet 8-inches long. The new record obliterated the old record, which was caught in 2017 and weighed 242-pounds 8-ounces.
“309. 9 stud swordfish for the win and the pending Mississippi state record! Thank you to my crew and all my sponsors for making this moment possible. My first sword over 300 couldn’t have come at a better time!”
309. 9 stud swordfish for the win and the pending Mississippi state record! Thank you to my crew and all my sponsors for…
Getting the fish to the weigh in before the deadline was a struggle in and of itself. Captain Jackson had to lay the hammer down to get to Biloxi in time, and there were serious concerns that they didn’t have enough fuel to make it happen.
“Usually I don’t run my boat wide-open, but with so much on the line, we did.”
Cruising 60 miles per hour, the engines sputtered and stopped just short of the marina.
“We were heartbroken. Luckily, I remembered that I saved 9 gallons of fuel in one of my side tanks for this reason.”
He fired up the reserve tanks, got the engines pumping again, and made it to the marina to check their fish in with just 5 miles of gas left in the tank and less than 8 minutes before the deadline for tournament entries closed.
Once the fish was on the scales Captain Jackson and the crew realized they had just got the new state record. And they also won the tournament, which netted them $283,923.
“Phone got wet it is done! Waiting in line to weigh our sea monster. 82 inch fat girl.”
Phone got wet it is done! Waiting in line to weigh our sea monster. 82 incher fat girl🤞💰Tails Up Offshore Fishing Charters LLC