South Carolina Teen Catches Giant Pompano That Could Break World Record

A teenager caught an enormous 11.34lb pompano dolphinfish on a high-school graduation trip that could smash the current world record.

Charles Noonan, 18, lives in Sumter in South Carolina and was on a charter trip in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina, when he landed the fish.

Early in the morning of June 8, he and fellow crewmembers came across an abandoned raft about 42 miles off the beach, a North Carolina Environmental Quality press release said.

The crew noticed several dolphinfish around the raft. When they returned to the spot a bit later, Noonan felt something on his rod.

The teen tackled the huge fish onto the boat. Noonan believed it was just a common dolphinfish at first.

There are only two species of dolphinfish, also known as Mahi Mahi. The common dolphinfish are usually large and can weigh 80lb. However the smaller pompano species, usually only weigh, on average, 2lb.

However captain of the charter, Tyler Hailey, started to realize that something wasn't right with the fish.

The charter crew brought the enormous catch to the dock and asked some local experts for their opinion. It was then confirmed that this fish was not a common dolphinfish, but a particularly large pompano dolphinfish.

The fish's weight was confirmed at a certified scale at the Intracoastal Angler in Wilmington, Outdoor life reported. The fish also had a 17.25-inch girth.

The pompano has already set the North Carolina state record, however it was also heavier than the current world record for the species. The current world record was set in 2008, by an 8.8-pound pompano caught in Maryland.

Noonan has gotten in touch with the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) to be considered for a world record, with details of his catch.

Noonan's catch will beat the world record if the paperwork is accepted by the IGFA.

Hailey told one news outlet that the experience of catching a world record fish was "pretty humbling."

Pompano dolphinfish live near the surface of the ocean, in tropical and subtropical waters. They can reach a maximum length of 50 inches, however on average they grown between 20 to 24 inches. Pompano dolphinfish on the heavier side usually only weigh up to 5 pounds, making Noonan's catch particularly unusual.

The fish are not considered particularly important to fisheries, but they are commonly caught as game. Anglers will often catch the fish while looking for other species.

Fishing for this species is particularly popular off North Carolina, the Gulf of Mexico, Florida, and Japan. As the fish have a short lifespan and grow quickly, they are not considered at risk of overfishing.

State Record Pompano Dolphinfish
The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries recently certified the first state record Pompano Dolphinfish (Coryphaena equiselis), and it may break the world record. Charles Kenneth Noonan of Sumter, S.C. caught the 11-pound, 5.4-ounce fish at an abandoned raft, about 42 miles off Ocean Isle Beach on June 8. deq.nc.gov