A bright blue fish was caught off the coast of North Carolina — and it could set a world record.
Now, two months later, the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries announced that the fish has been certified as the “first state record puddingwife wrasse.” Stone, who is from Southport, used a rod and squid bait to snag the historic catch.
The vibrant fish could make history in more ways than one.
The marine creature weighed 3 pounds, 11 ounces. That’s more than the current world-record-holding puddingwife wrasse, which weighed 3 pounds, 8 ounces when it was caught 20 years ago in the waters off Florida, officials wrote in a Sept. 25 news release.
“Stone plans to apply to the International Game Fish Association for the world record,” North Carolina officials wrote, adding that his vibrant catch measured 18 inches long with a “13-inch girth.” The marine fisheries division didn’t immediately share additional information with McClatchy News on Sept. 26.
To be eligible for a state record, a “fish must be weighed in on certified scales at an official North Carolina weigh station” and meet other requirements, officials said.
The puddingwife wrasse species can be found from North Carolina to Brazil, often making their homes in reefs, according to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.
Southport is roughly 30 miles south of Wilmington.