It was on June 28 at the end of a long day of fishing and daylight was fading quickly when Wesley Brough and a friend decided to cast one last time into the tumultuous surf of a Cabo San Lucas beach.
It was a lucky decision: that final cast landed Brough an enormous Pacific snook that might break the world record.
“We were getting ready to go when we saw mullet flying out of the water and decided on a last cast,” said Brough, owner of Cabo Surfcaster, a fishing guide service. “I figured it was another roosterfish. Knowing that there was not enough light for a good picture, I decided to horse him in and get him released. The fish was on the beach in about six minutes and it was definitely not a rooster. To our surprise it was a monster snook like neither of us had ever seen before.”
The 50-inch-long fish weighed 51 pounds, 4.8 ounces according to a certified scale in Cabo San Lucas. The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) world record currently stands at 47 pounds, 8 ounces for a snook caught in 2001, also in Cabo San Lucas.
Snook are rare in the area, and that day Brough and his friend Matt Stehle were looking for roosterfish in the surf generated by Hurricane Enrique. They planned to take pictures then release their catches. The fishing was going well: the pair landed a 50-pound roosterfish, a 45-pound roosterfish and a 25-pound crevalle before Brough reeled in the giant snook. Brough said he would have released the snook as well, but the hook was embedded deep in its throat and it would not have survived.
Brough said he brought in the snook in accordance with IGFA rules and has submitted a world record application. A determination from the association is expected in several weeks.