An Indiana man honeymooning in Florida has reeled in a potential world-record king mackerel.
Michael Hayes caught the 97.8-pound fish Sunday off Fort Lauderdale, while on a charter with his wife, Brooke, a week after they were married.
The current world record, according to the International Game Fish Assn., stands at 93 pounds. That fish was caught off San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1999.
Hayes, who lives in Chesterton, Indiana, has applied for world-record certification with the IGFA, but the approval process can take months to be completed.
The newlyweds were fresh off an ocean cruise when they booked a sportfishing excursion with Happy Day Today Charters in Fort Lauderdale.
Tom Zsak, owner of Topshot Sportfishing and Happy Day Today Charters, told TCPalm that the group was drifting along the edge of a Gulf Stream drop-off, using a live bonito as bait and 30-pound-test line, when the massive king mackerel struck.
J.B. Sirgany, the charter captain, was trying to entice a big tuna, sailfish, or wahoo. The catch of the king mackerel, sometimes referred to as kingfish, was a surprise.
King mackerel, which are found in the tropical and subtropical western Atlantic, including the Gulf of Mexico, are constantly migrating but large schools are encountered off south Florida during the winter.
Typical catches, however, weigh in the 30- to 40-pound range. So the fish landed by Hayes – perhaps the same can be said about his wife – was definitely a keeper.
Hayes and Brooke Shirer were married on Jan. 13.
–Images courtesy of Happy Day Today Charters
An Indiana man honeymooning in Florida has reeled in a potential world-record king mackerel. Michael Hayes caught the 97.8-pound fish (…)