It took 15 minutes for Hungarian fisherman Tamás Trexler to reel in a record-breaking catch. While on vacation in Egypt, the angler dropped his jig into the deep blue waters and waited for a tug. It didn’t take long before he had a 31-pound roving coralgrouper on the other side of his line.
After only a few minutes of fighting with the fish, Trexler was finally able to bring it onboard.
“The bite was very strong,” Trexler told Field & Stream. “The fish pulled with elemental force.”
Despite the coralgrouper’s initial strength, the massive fish seemed to give up halfway to the boat, securing the victory for the Hungarian angler. When Trexler held his catch, he didn’t think it would break any records. However, the angler’s guide, Mahmoud, knew at first sight that the grouper was one for the books. At 31 pounds and 7 ounces, Trexler’s catch nearly doubled the International Game Fish Association’s (IGFA) previous record roving coralgrouper catch.
Only two months before Trexler’s catch, another angler near Hamata, Egypt held the title with a 16-pound, 12-ounce catch. Now, all the Hungarian fisher needs is the IGFA’s seal of approval on the impressive haul.
After measuring the huge coralgrouper and taking plenty of photos, Trexler released the colorful catch back into the water. That same day, he also managed to reel in a 24-pound coralgrouper, which could have held the IGFA title had it not been for Trexler’s previous catch.
“To put it in perspective, it would be like if there was no record for largemouth bass and someone submitted a 5-pound fish,” IGFA Angler Recognition Coordinator Zack Bellapigna said, regarding the catch. “That fish would qualify but someone could easily catch a 10-pound fish as they are fairly common.”
Coralgrouper Angler Returns Home to Continue Freshwater Fishing
Although the size of Trexler’s roving coralgrouper is fairly common, the species itself is not. According to Field & Stream, the fish is “relatively rare” and typically is found in the Indo-Pacific region. They feed mostly on crustaceans and draw them into their mouths using intense suction before swallowing them whole.
Besides their scarcity, roving coralgroupers are also popular among record-breaking anglers for their distinct and vibrant coloring. Their colors tend to range from yellow to orange with many blue spots from head to tail.
Despite Trexler’s recent saltwater victories, the Hungarian angler claims to be more familiar with freshwater fishing. Back at home on the Danube River, he and his son, Bálint, often patrol the waters for catfish and zander. The avid angler shared that the father-son duo fishes two to four times a week together. Bálint was also there for his dad’s big catch and smiled for a photo with the coralgrouper.
“I would like to thank my friend Péter, his son Zsombor, my son Bálint, and our fishing guide Mahmoud for this once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Trexler said.