A California angler this week caught a giant bocaccio that might have shattered the state record had he not had the fish filleted on the boat.
Rob Tressler, pictured above, landed the 20.33-pound rockfish while fishing aboard the Pacifica out of Seaforth Sportfishing in San Diego.
After Lori Heath shared the image via Facebook it was quickly pointed out that the state record stands at 17 pounds, 8 ounces. The record was set in Northern California in 1987.
Tressler had his fish weighed on a hand-held boat scale before it was carved into fillets. California requires potential record fish to be weighed on a government-certified scale in front of at least two witnesses.
Tressler, the Chief Science Officer for the San Diego Blood Bank, received some good-natured ribbing beneath Heath’s Facebook post. But all comments were complimentary and most people were simply in awe of the bocaccio’s size.
“Holy Cod!” reads one comment.
“The biggest one I’ve ever seen,” reads another.
Bocaccio, which range from Baja California to Alaska, are a slow-growing, slow-to-mature rockfish species that is vulnerable to overfishing. A limited recreational harvest is allowed off California.
For the sake of comparison, the world record for bocaccio stands at 27 pounds, 14 ounces. That fish was caught in Alaska’s Elfin Cove in 2011.
–Image showing Rob Tressler with his bocaccio is courtesy of Lori Heath