An eight-year-old Nelson girl can claim an unofficial world record for a massive 21.36lb (9.68kg) snapper caught in Tasman Bay on Friday.
Jasmine Elvines landed the snapper and quietly worked at reeling it in while her father, grandfather and aunt were busy with other lines that had also caught fish. Dad Jason says, as he was distracted, Jasmine just kept winding.
“Jasmine was just dealing with her rod in the background. She was struggling a wee bit, but she just kept on winding, and I thought ‘good stuff’. Then we saw what popped up and I was blown away. I had no idea she had such a heavy fish on.”
It took Jason two attempts to land it in the net.
“The first time it slipped out and I thought ‘oh no’. I made sure of it the second time.”
Jasmine, a Wakefield School student, says she was “really surprised”.
“We always try to catch a fish like that,” says Jason. “And she just comes out and trumps us quietly.”
The fish was so heavy that Jasmine couldn’t even lift it for a photo.
“We had to kneel her down and prop it up against her,” says Jason.
Once they returned to shore Jason had the fish weighed at Big Blue Dive and Fish, but it was later discovered that had it been officially weighed it would have beaten the International Game Fishing Association world record for a small fry (female aged 0-10yrs).
The current record is held by Brooke Laws of Raglan at 9.11 kg (20 lb 2 oz).
Jason says he’s disappointed it wasn’t officially weighed but he simply didn’t think about it at the time.
“Looking back now it is a bit of a shame. She’s just going to have to try and get another one.”
All wasn’t lost though, the fish was gutted, filleted and eaten for dinner that night.