Florida Woman Hooks Pending World Record Fish at 8 Months Pregnant

by Caitlin Berard
(Photo by JLFCapture via Getty Images)

On October 1, Florida resident and fishing enthusiast Julie Augustine received a call from her friend, Joe D’Agostino. It was a beautiful morning, and it made Joe think of Julie. He knew his friend was eight months pregnant, but he also knew how much she loved to fish, so he offered to take her out on his boat, promising that they wouldn’t stay on the water too long.

Julie Augustine accepted the invitation, completely unaware of just how successful the day would be. Joe D’Agostino began preparing for their day on the water, retrieving his boat from hurricane storage before picking up his friend.

On the way to the marina, he spotted a school of enormous fish in the water and asked his friend, “Do you want to go find a world record?” as he arrived.

Augustine, of course, said yes, and grabbed her trusty polespear for the hunt. Soon, D’Agostino was watching in amazement while his eight months pregnant friend was shooting a potentially record-breaking 37.8-pound black drum using her 9-foot Bermudian slip tip polespear while freediving.

Julie Augustine can hardly believe the catch herself. “It was crazy, that’s not how I anticipated my day starting,” she explained to The Destin Log. “But what an adventure.”

According to the International Underwater Spearfishing Association, the black drum record in the Sling/Polespear Division for a female diver is currently held by Lucie Cardet, who shot a 36.3-pounder back in 2018. Lucie’s name is about to be replaced, however, as Julie’s catch bests hers by over a pound.

Pregnant Polespear Fisherman Won’t Reveal Her Record-Breaking Fishing Spot

Like most successful fishermen, Julie Augustine and Joe D’Agostino remain tight-lipped about the exact place in which they found the record fish. Though they did say they were in Choctawhatchee Bay, they refused to give specifics. “I don’t want to say too much,” D’Agostino said. “We don’t want to give our spot away.”

D’Agostino explained that they were in shallow water, only around 8-10 feet in depth. And according to the now legendary fisherman, the nearly 38-pound black drum wasn’t even the biggest fish she saw. Unfortunately, however, visibility was low, increasing the difficulty of the hunt.

“There were some fish that were bigger than the one I got,” Augustine recalled. “On the surface, they were clearly visible, you could see their shape. But then when I got in the water, I couldn’t see the tip of my spear.”

“I saw its shadow,” she said of her record-breaking fish. “In the water and from my vantage point, it was a big shadow. So, I took a shot and it was a good shot. I brought it up and I was hoping and praying.”

Julie Augustine was underwater for around 45 seconds before wrangling the enormous black drum. After seeing its unbelievable size above the surface, the pair took it to weighmaster Bruce Cheves at the Destin Fishing Rodeo.

Cheves confirmed the fish’s weight and sent it on for Augustine to receive recognition for her world record catch. “It was such a fun experience,” Augustine said. “We needed that certified scale to make it perfect, but it was fun to represent that sport as well.”