An angler has smashed the halibut record, reeling in a fish about 100 pounds larger than previous record holder’s catch. Atlantic halibut are among the largest bony fish in the world, and angler Marco Liebenow discovered that for himself when he, with the help of some friends, hauled in the nine-foot fish, the Daily Mail reports. Liebenow was on a fishing trip in Kjollefjord, Norway, when he hooked the fish, and it took four people to drag it close to the boat. The fish was too big to pull aboard, however, so the men fashioned a sling and dragged it back to shore. After they reached the shore, a crane had to haul the fish onto land. After it was officially weighed, Liebenow donated the fish to a local fish dealer.
When the fish was weighed it tipped the scales at a whopping 513 pounds, breaking the previous world record and setting a new, much higher goal for fishermen hoping to catch themselves a record-breaking halibut.
Liebenow submitted the information to the International Game Fishing Association, which monitors fishing records. He is now waiting for confirmation that he has claimed the title. He does not speak any English, but explained through the tour company that he had caught the fish of a lifetime. According to the Daily Mail, he joked that it felt like he had caught a submarine because the fish was so heavy. It was a 90-minute fight to get the fish close enough to see it, Field and Stream adds, but the men could immediately see what a big fish it was when they got it closer to the boat. Pictures of Liebenow with the fish show the record-breaking halibut hung vertically, towering over Liebenow.
Scientists say that Atlantic halibut can grow to 15 feet in length and weigh up to 700 pounds, making the fish Liebenow caught a big specimen, but far from the largest Alaskan halibut in the sea. They can live up to 50 years, so it is difficult to say whether his fish would have continued to grow if it had not been caught. The IGFA keeps separate records for Pacific and Atlantic halibut; Atlantic halibut’s native habitat is the northern Atlantic. The most recent Atlantic halibut record was set in 2004 with a 418-pound halibut. If the IGFA approves his application, Liebenow will be the top entry in the category of largest halibut caught by a sports angler.