DESTIN — The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recently approved the record status for an 826-pound, 8-ounce bluefin tuna caught by a Sandestin-based charter boat last year.

 

A fisherman aboard the You Never Know caught a record-breaking 826-pound, 8-ounce bluefin tuna off the coast of Destin in May 2017. The fisherman who caught the large tuna was Rick Whitley of Destin, with help from Capt. Joey Birbeck and mates Dennis Bennett and Josh Goodson.

This catch is one of five new Florida saltwater fishing records that were approved in the past year, according to FWC.

Other record catches approved in the past year include a 4-pound, 8-ounce hardhead catfish caught by Ethan Pillitteri; a 35-pound, 9-ounce almaco jack caught by Lewis Sapp; a 2-pound kingfish (whiting) caught by Raymond A. Hathorn, Jr.; and a 26-pound horse-eye jack caught by Sharon Kartrude Pryel, an FWC news release said.

Saltwater record holders receive a certificate of accomplishment and a prize pack, and beginning this year will be awarded a custom ink fish print to memorialize their catch, courtesy of Fish Print Shop.