Greg Parker of Gulfport recently set an International Gamefish Association world record for 12-pound test line with a 30.45-pound tripletail.
The fish, 34 inches long with a girth of 32 inches, was caught at marker No. 47 of the Gulfport Ship Channel.
"It was one of those things," Parker said. "It was funny because I had help with getting the fish in the (dip) net and needed help finding out if it was an IGFA record."
What started out as a typical fishing trip for Parker and his buddy, Lynn Leatherwood, ended up with a pending world record.
"The weather was really nice and we wanted to go fishing," Parker said. "The Friday before, we caught three lemonfish, so we decided to try it again. I wasn't expecting to catch a tripletail like that. Last year, I caught some nice tripletail, including a couple weighing 12 and 15 pounds. They were little ones compared to this one."
Equipped with shrimp and a popping cork, Parker tossed the bait toward marker No. 47 unknowing what lured beneath.
At first, nothing happened as the current began to drift the shrimp away from the marker.
In a matter of seconds, a dull moment turned into a thrill of a lifetime.
"The cork never went underwater," Parker said. "It floated away from the channel marker and the fish must have been following it. I then saw the cork stop and start to lean over. Then the fish started taking line and I set the hook."
The largest tripletail caught by Parker tipped the scales at 15-pounds. He entered uncharted waters as the fish sounded downward instead of jumping out of the water like a typical tripletail.
"He rolled (on the bait) and he took off," Parker said. "He never jumped out of the water. When he started going down the channel, I told Lynn that we were going to be here a while.
"He then sounded down, which made it tough to lift him back up. It was a slow fight. He would come up and see the boat. Then go back down. I guess he caught tired."
The fight lasted between and 45 and 50 minutes.
With the fish near the surface, Parker was faced with an dilemma.
"We only had a small (dip) net that we use for trout," Parker said. "We were in trouble. But Lynn was able to run his head in the net and we put the fish in the boat."
With the fish on ice, Leatherwood asked if Parker knew what the IGFA record for 12-pound test line was.
"I had no idea," he said. "So I called another friend and he looked it up on the internet and said it was 26 pounds. At the dock, this fish weighed more than 31 pounds. But it wasn't a certified scale."
Hours later, the fished tipped the scales at 30.45 pounds when weighed by Danny Pitalo at Gorenflo's Tackle.
"The funny thing is we hooked a 20-pound tripletail at the next marker, but he got off," Parker said. "I know I was lucky to land this one. In fact, the rod, a St. Croix, later broke on a 14inch shark."
So what did Parker do with his trophy?
"I may get a (fiberglass) mount when I get the paper work back from the IGFA," he said. "Knowing I was going to get a replica made. I ate the fish and it was good."