After a recent day of fishing, in stormy surf and vanishing daylight, guide Wesley Brough tried one more cast and reeled in a “monster” snook that could shatter a 20-year-old world record.
“We were getting ready to leave when we saw mullet flying out of the water and decided on a last cast,” Brough, a surf-fishing guide in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, told For The Win Outdoors. “I figured it was another roosterfish. Knowing there was not enough light for a good picture, I decided to horse him in and get him released.
“The fish was on the beach in about six minutes and it was definitely not a rooster. To our surprise it was a monster snook like neither of us had ever seen before.”
The Pacific white snook, caught June 28, weighed 51 pounds, 4.8 ounces on a certified scale in town. The International Game Fish Assn. world record stands at 47 pounds, 8 ounces. That fish also was caught off Cabo San Lucas, on July 4, 2001.
Snook catches are rare on Cabo San Lucas beaches. Brough, owner of Cabo Surfcaster guide service, was fishing for roosterfish with Matt Strehle on the Pacific side of Baja California’s tip, in surf generated by Hurricane Enrique far to the south.
“Winds were 25 to 30 mph and storm waves were stacked four to five waves deep,” Brough said. “The only things we had going for us is that the water was warm and there was bait in the area.”
Brough and Strehle were casting lures beyond the waves and retrieving them rapidly so they’d mimic fleeing baitfish. They were targeting roosterfish for catch-and-release photo opportunities.
“As the sun went down we started to see the bait get really nervous and we launched casts out over the waves into the bait,” Brough recalled. “I got hit right away on a big Savagegear stickbait and passed off the rod and it ended up being a 50- to 55-pound rooster.
“After pictures and a quick release we ended up repeating the process three casts later with a 45-pound rooster and a 25-pound jack crevalle.”
Brough’s next cast, in near darkness, produced the snook strike. He said he’d have released the fish but it was hooked deep in the throat and would not have survived.
On Instagram he described the snook, which measured 50 inches with a 30-inch girth, as a “sea monster.”
Brough said he fought the fish in accordance with IGFA rules and has submitted a record application. The IGFA typically makes a determination after several weeks.
–Images showing Wesley Brough with his giant snook are courtesy of Cabo Surfcaster