The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) recently certified Caleb Newton’s snakehead as the new world record. What makes his catch even more unique is that he may be receiving two record certificates from the IGFA, the Fredericksburg Star reports. Jack Vitek, IGFA world-record coordinator, said the fish could also qualify for the record in the 20-pound line class category. Not bad for a snakehead that nearly ended up on the dinner table this past spring.
Newton caught the 17-pound, 6-ounce snakehead in Virginia during a tournament honoring his friend Phil Wilcox’s upcoming wedding. Newton had plans to eat it but put it on ice and went searching for a certified scale when someone mentioned it might be a new record.
Newton’s fish bested a record snakehead caught in 2004 in Japan by two ounces. However, it’s smaller than Juan Duran’s 18-pound, 3-ounce fish caught in Virginia’s Occoquan River in 2012. Fortunately for Newton, Duran didn’t weigh his fish on a certified scale per IGFA rules and made a meal of his catch before realizing his mistake.