Georgia Man Catches 7 Pound Queen Triggerfish

April 10, 2024
1 min read
Georgia Man Catches 7 Pound Queen Triggerfish

In an unprecedented feat off the coast of Georgia, Ryan R. Simons, a 38-year-old angler from Richmond Hill, has set a new state record by catching a Queen Triggerfish weighing 7 pounds, 0.58 ounces. This catch introduces the Queen Triggerfish (Balistes vetula) into the Georgia Saltwater Game Fish Program, marking a significant milestone as this species had not previously been included in the records.

Simons made the record-setting catch on April 7 while fishing in the South Ledge area, known for its offshore fishing potential. Employing a combination of skilled bottom fishing techniques, Simons used a Shimano jigging rod and Speedmaster reel, armed with 65-pound braided line and dead ballyhoo bait. The achievement took place aboard the vessel “Sweet Melissa,” captained by Henry Williamson.

The weight and measurements of the Queen Triggerfish, including a total length of 30.75 inches and a girth of 17 inches, were officially recorded at the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Richmond Hill Fish Hatchery. The process adhered to the stringent requirements of the Georgia Saltwater Game Fish Records Program, ensuring the legitimacy of this record-setting catch.

Simons’ remarkable accomplishment has not only earned him a place in the state records but will also be commemorated with a certificate signed by notable figures including Governor Brian Kemp, DNR Commissioner Walter Rabon, and Doug Haymans, Director of the DNR’s Coastal Resources Division. His name and record will be featured in the forthcoming Georgia Sport Fishing Regulations Guide and on the DNR’s website.

In light of this achievement, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources has taken the opportunity to remind anglers of the importance of ethical and responsible fishing practices. This includes the use of descending devices to mitigate barotrauma in deep-water fish species, thereby increasing their survival rate upon release. Anglers are encouraged to familiarize themselves with state regulations and best practices to ensure the continued health and diversity of Georgia’s marine ecosystems.

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