Potential World Record Rockfish Caught in Sitka
On Friday, June 21, 2013, Henry Liebman of Washington caught a 39.08-pound shortraker rockfish while fishing with Captain David – breaking the Alaska state record of 38.68 pounds. The previous Alaska rockfish record stood since 2001. Recent findings by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Juneau have aged the fish at 64 years old.
Liebman has been a customer of Angling Unlimited since 2009. During a previous trip, he caught a shortraker rockfish while halibut fishing off the coast of Kruzof Island. This year, he made it a priority to catch another. Captain David Gross took Liebman’s party to where he believed they could find the large rockfish – 850 feet of water.
It wasn’t long before the baits were getting attention from fish deep below. Liebman took his turn at a bite and reeled up the massive rockfish. Deckhand Gus Ohaus landed the large fish and Gross weighed it. The initial weight from the scale onboard was 45 pounds. Gross knew itrings could possibly be a record breaker.
Once the party returned to the dock, it was a race to get the fish to the ADFG for an official weigh-in before the fish lost any more weight. The fish officially weighed 39.08 pounds, which was enough to break the 12-year record.
“I never anticipated holding a record,” said Liebman. “It’s been a fun experience and I hope they can manage the resource because it’s worth protecting.”
The process to apply for world record status is currently underway. We will announce on this page when it has been recognized.
UPDATE: Henry officially held the world record position for only three weeks. An angler caught a shortraker rockfish in Cross Sound, Alaska that beat out Henry’s by only a few pounds.