Angler crushes record for greater amberjack
After only two years, the S.C. Saltwater State Record for a Greater Amberjack has been dismantled by angler John Beauford, of Awendaw SC. Beauford, 67, caught the 123 pound, 69 inch (total length) jack Sept. 7, crushing the previous record by over 22 pounds. Greater Amberjack are a part of the Snapper/Grouper Complex of fish regulated by the South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council. The current recreational bag limit is one fish per person per day with a minimum size limit of 28 inches fork length.
John was fishing aboard "Wasabi," a 34-foot Sea Vee with owner/captain and friend Michael Owen, of Taylorsville, GA. The two were out for a day of fishing and fun. They left from the Isle of Palms marina, setting course for Georgetown Hole. Drifting for bottom fish, Beauford was using an Outer Banks 6-foot rod paired with a Shimano Trinidad 16N reel and using an artificial Diamond Jig for bait when the monster fish struck. The two fishermen had released a 50 pound Greater Amberjack earlier in the day. The second fish was more than two times the size of the previous fish, giving Beauford and Owen reason to believe they had a new state record fish, so they landed the fish and headed back to Charleston Harbor. The fish was weighed at Mt. Pleasant Seafood where weigh-master Jay Collins weighed the fish at 123 pounds. The previous Greater Amberjack record, held by Lee Fredrick from Murrell’s Inlet, weighed 100 pounds 8 ounces and was caught in August 2008.
State Record Marine Game Fish Program Coordinator Amy Dukes verified the new state record the next morning at Mt. Pleasant Seafood.
Contact Program Coordinator Amy Dukes with the Office of Fisheries Management at (843) 953-9365 or email DukesA@dnr.sc.gov for more on S.C. State Record Marine Game fish.
DNR encourages anglers to help protect our fisheries by retaining only those fish that will be consumed, and practicing good handling skills with those fish that will be released.