Possible world-record sea mullet caught in surf on NC’s Outer Banks

World record whiting
Brett Jordan of Florence, S.C. caught the potential new world record southern kingfish while fishing at the Outer Banks on Nov. 11, 2019.

South Carolina fishermen beaches 3-pound, 1-ounce whiting

Two all-tackle world records. Thirty-six years and four days apart. From the same beach.

Back on Nov. 7, 1983, the late David Dueul of Vienna, Va., caught the all-tackle world record red drum, aka redfish, spot tail, or channel bass, in the surf at the village of Avon on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. The fish was 60 inches long and weighed 94 pounds, 2 ounces.

This past Monday, Nov. 11, Brett Jordan of Florence, S.C., caught a southern kingfish — aka sea mullet, whiting, Virginia mullet — that is being touted as the new all-tackle world record for that species. It weighed 3 pounds, 1 ounce, and was caught in the surf near Ramp 34 north of Avon.

According to the Island Free Press, a newspaper that serves Hatteras and Ocracoke islands, Jordan was fishing with a friend, Larry Hart, using an 11-foot Okuma rod and Abu Garcia bait casting reel with a hand-tied rig and a sand flea for bait when he caught the huge whiting around 4:30 p.m.

whiting on scale
Sitting on the scale, the fish looked as much like a redfish as a southern kingfish.

After Jordan beached the fish, Hart weighed it on a set of scales and realized the fish was special. Jordan took the fish to Frank & Fran’s, a renowned Avon tackle shop where a replica mount of Dueul’s record drum hangs, got the fish weighed on official scales, and began the paperwork to submit the fish to the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ citation program.

Stephanie Bayne, whose family owns Frank & Fran’s, did some research and discovered that the all-tackle world record southern kingfish, caught in 2002 in Virginia Beach, Va., weighed 2 pounds, 13 ounces, making Jordan’s fish a potential word record by four ounces. Paperwork was begun immediately with the International Game Fish Association to apply for the world record.

According to the Island Free Press, Jordan’s fish was 20 inches long and 11 inches in girth. 

About Dan Kibler 887 Articles
Dan Kibler is the former managing editor of Carolina Sportsman Magazine. If every fish were a redfish and every big-game animal a wild turkey, he wouldn’t ever complain. His writing and photography skills have earned him numerous awards throughout his career.

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