350 Pound Fish Caught In Louisiana - VIDEO INCLUDED - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

FISH TIPS SCALES AT 359.1 POUNDS!

350 Pound Fish Caught In Louisiana - VIDEO INCLUDED

A fisherman usually uses his hands to describe how big of a catch he's landed.  J.J. Tabor would have to borrow every hand in his hometown of Thibodaux to describe the grouper he caught near an oil rig off the Louisiana coast, 70 miles south of Fourchon. It's taller than he is and weighs considerably more.

A state biologist confirms the fish is a warsaw grouper that weighed in at 359.1 pounds, just three-quarters of a pound above the old Louisiana state record for that type of fish.

Tabor says he was fishing in about 400 feet of water Saturday evening when he got the bite of his life.  "The bait was a live hardtail," Tabor said. "When we hooked up, I thought I had hit the bottom until I felt the big head shake."

Tabor was fishing with his father, John, and a friend from Baton Rouge, Joey Rodrique.  "I manned the steering wheel and steered the boat away from the rig so we could get it away," Rodrigue said.

"I hate to say it but I was snoring pretty good until I heard all the ruckus come up," John Tabor said. "Then I went to the back of the boat to lend a hand. But J.J. had the pole and Joey had the boat under control so I was just a witness to the fact."

"I put myself in a harness and just had to lay back and fight," J.J. Tabor said. "It was about a 15 or 20 minute fight."

J.J. Tabor, who is a medical student, keeps the location of his catch close to his fishing vest.  "It's J.J.'s secret," Rodrigue said.  "I don't even know where I was. He blindfolds us on the way out."

Tabor says he was using a 250-pound weight line. He cleaned the fish late Monday afternoon outside his father's auto repair shop in Thibodaux.  The first filet he cut weighed 53 pounds. "We'll split it up," he said. "I'll make some phone calls and try to get rid of it fresh. The rest, we'll vacuum pack it and cook it later."

Tabor says he believes the fish is about 33 years old. To be sure, he removed the fish's otolith, the inner ear bone, and will send it to a university in Florida where researchers can help determine the age of the fish. He hopes to get the results in about four weeks.

Reporter:  Robb Hays, WAFB.COM

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