June 21: Sport fisherman Henry Liebman, from Seattle, holds his record-breaking shortraker rockfish at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game office.
An insurance adjustor from Seattle caught a rockfish outside Juneau, Alaska, last week that weighed 39.08 pounds and believed to be around 200 years old, The Sitka Sentinel reported.
Henry Liebman, the adjustor, told the paper that he was fishing in 900 feet of water at the time and about 10 miles off the coast of Sitka. Rockfish, the paper said, have been known to live as far down as 4,000 feet.
“I knew it was abnormally big (but I) didn’t know it was a record until on the way back we looked in the Alaska guide book that was on the boat,” Liebman told the paper.
The fish was certified and a sample has been sent to a lab in Juneau where the fish’s age will be officially determined. Liebman, for his part, plans having the fish mounted.
Troy Tidingco, the Sitka area manager from the state Department of Fish and Game, told the paper that the previous record rougheye was 205 years old and Liebman’s that fish was “quite a bit smaller than the one Henry caught,” the paper reported.
Rockfish have a high release mortality because they are caught in such deep waters. They often suffer from an inflated swim bladder after reaching the boat.