Among the three saltwater state fishing records certified this week by the Commission on Marine Resources is a bull shark.
So you’re thinking 900 or 1,000 pounds?
For all the stories of the ferocious species, promulgated almost to the point of exaggeration by countless TV shows aired by Discovery, A&E and Animal Planet, and through misidentification in the past, Mississippi’s new record is a modest 164-pound, 6-ounce bull shark caught in August by Eric Slate of Cordova, Tenn.
That’s far short of the state’s record for shark, an 885-pound tiger shark caught by Bruce Bartling of Jackson in the 1983 Mississippi Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo. Until 2002, Bartling’s tiger was the biggest fish ever brought to port in the Magnolia State.
It’s also far short of another giant 800-plus pound fish caught in the same event years earlier, which was cut into three pieces to be weighed. It was originally called a bull shark but was later changed to tiger shark.
But Slate’s fish did easily beat the previous record bull, a 130-pound, 7.36-ounce fish caught in 2009. The International Game Fish Association’s world record is 697 pounds, but scientists in Florida recently caught, tagged and released one estimated to exceed 1,000 pounds.
The Commission also certified two other conventional tackle records, far smaller than Slate’s bull shark.
Cecily O’Brien of Pascagoula now has the standard for Gulf toadfish with a 2-pound, 3-ounce handful of ugly (don’t believe us, see the photo), and Donald Armes Jr. of Pass Christian caught a 3.45-pound Atlantic bumper.