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Possible world record fish caught at tourney

By Staff | Jun 8, 2015

A potential world record fish was caught at Offshore Rodeo Fishing Tournament fundraiser at Salty Sam’s Marina this past weekend.

Capt. Alex Newman aboard “Honey Money” reeled in a black grouper that weighed 124.18 pounds and was measured 57 inches in width with a 48-inch girth. The third annual event was celebrating its first time at the San Carlos Island marina.

Event organizer Jeff Miloff stated that, according to the official weigh master, the very large grouper was slightly over the world record, and criteria from the catch (application, scale information, notarized document from weight master, pictures) will be submitted soon to the International Game Fish Association for official confirmation. Newman, who was on Team Sunset Air, said the fish took only five minutes or so to reel in.

“He was fighting real hard, but I didn’t give him any slack. I got him up pretty quick,” he said. “When that thing hit the surface, it was chaos. We could barely lift the fish up when it hit the deck.”

The Fort Myers resident and his team were positioned in the Gulf approximately 60 miles west of Sanibel. A state record – let alone a world record – was not part of the conversation on the way back in to weigh that particular catch.

“(Having a possible world record fish) didn’t even cross our minds,” he said. “We were thinking it was 90-95 pounds. I couldn’t believe it when we dropped it on the scale.”

Newman gave his team the credit in the catch. Team Sunset Air was comprised of Newman, Sunset Air President Jason Schreyer, Eli Mendes, Danny Watkins and Louis Santagata.

“Being the captain of the boat, I rarely fish. I usually stay behind the wheel,” he said. “For me to be there and get the hit, since I was the closest to that reel, was pretty awesome.”

Overall, the Offshore Rodeo Fishing Tournament was deemed a success for the third year in a row.

“The tournament was awesome. We had 34 boats signed up for it,” Miloff said.

The fishing tournament was a benefit for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southwest Florida. A goal of $80,000 for that beneficiary may be surpassed after the results of a vehicle raffle drawing are revealed next week.

“Last year, we raised $72,000 and we are hoping to get closer to $90,000 or $100,000,” said Miloff. “We are pretty proud about that.”

Fucillo KIA of Cape Coral gave RMHC a 2015 KIA Soul as a part of the annual Offshore Rodeo Fishing Tournament. The generous gift serves as the grand prize in a chance drawing.

Tickets for the drawing are $100 each and no more than 400 tickets will be sold. A person or entity may purchase a maximum of 25 tickets. The drawing will be held at Fuccillo KIA of Cape Coral this Saturday, June 13, at 2:30 p.m. The winner need not be present to win.

To purchase chance drawing tickets for the 2015 KIA Soul, call RMHC at 437-0202 or visit www.rmhcswfl.org .

The mission of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southwest Florida is to create, find and support programs that directly improve the health and well being of children throughout Southwest Florida.