Staff Writer
The Destin Log

Heath Harris from Hernando, Miss., caught a 62.4-pound "copper belly" gag grouper on the Cutting Edge with Capt. Steve Regan and mate Sean Dylan July 12 while fishing with his wife and friends.

It took about 10 minutes to reel in the gigantic grouper, but Heath said it felt like an hour sweating.

A FWC biologist estimated the grouper was about 30 years old, measuring 51.5 inches with a girth of 33.5 inches.

The world record for a gag grouper is 80 pounds, 6 ounces, while the state record is 71 pounds, 8 ounces.

The largest gag grouper brought to the docks in the Destin Fishing Rodeo last year was a 64-pounder caught on the Sure Lure.

—Tina Harbuck