It’s a real fish tale, and one that Henry Liebman’s buddies will likely never be able to top.
Liebman is a real estate developer from Seattle, Washington. He likes to fish, just like lots of other guys, But Liebman headed out to fish a couple of weeks ago with an agenda. He wanted to land a shortraker rockfish. Trouble is, rockfish are in the deep ocean, far out of reach of most line casters. So he went prepared.
“I had to drop a bunch of halibut bait down around 900 feet,” Liebman told ABC News. “I’ve been fishing all my life and I went out targeting this species. I just wanted to try and catch one because no one fishes for them.”
Liebman found his prey about 10 miles off the coast of Alaska. His bunch of halibut 900 feet down paid off. When he got a bite, he didn’t thin it was what he was after at first.
“When I got a bite, I felt it run a little,” he said. “I thought it was only a halibut at first. But when it came out of the water it’s sheer size made me think immediately it was a rockfish. This thing was just huge. It was just ridiculous.”
His catch weighed 39.8 pounds, a recreational record-breaker. But it is not just the size that is so impressive about this fish. It’s the age. Professionals estimate that the size indices that it could be around 200 years old.
But how to be sure?
Turns out, this particular species of fish has a simple way to determine age. Like a tree. The rockfish’s ear bone grows rings once a year. You can count the rings to determine the age of the fish. And fish and wildlife people intend to do just that at a lab in Juneau. Liebman plans to have the fish mounted. Of course he does.