Originally posted by: Mac Daddy on 2/22/2006 7:45:32 AM
I found this story this morning from the Island Packect Times a local paper in Beaufort, S.C. where my younger brother served as a Deputy Sheriff after his retrement from the Navy.
Photo: Archie LaRoche stands next to a 56-pound black drum he caught Sunday afternoon in the Broad Creek just off Hilton Head Island. LaRouche went out to catch a few fish to cook and enjoy while he watched the Daytona 500 on Sunday but ended up hooking this monster and fighting it for two hours.
Jonathan Dyer/The Island Packet
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It may not be a record holder, but the 56-pound black drum caught by
It may not be a record holder, but the 56-pound black drum caught by Hilton Head Island's Archie LaRoche on Sunday in Broad Creek was worth the battle.
With a head the size of a basketball and scales as large as silver dollars, the black drum took two men and more than two hours to reel in.
"It was a hell of a fight," LaRoche said. "It was like pulling up a Volkswagen."
LaRoche planned to spend a leisurely Sunday afternoon reeling in red fish with his 6-pound-test line in some of the deeper waters of Broad Creek.
But once hooking the black drum using a 4-inch shad as bait, LaRoche struggled with the fish for an hour before bringing it to the surface. Realizing he couldn't pull it in himself, LaRoche called his brother-in-law, island resident Frank Atkins, who came to the rescue with a gaff, eventually pulling the fish in after another hour.
The two took their catch to weigh at Shelter Cove Marina. Its size had LaRoche convinced he at least had a state record.
However, the state Department of Natural Resources doesn't break down records based on line test -- only total weight. The largest black drum on record was caught off Port Royal in 1978, weighing in at 89 pounds.
The world record for black drum caught using 6-pound test is at 75 pounds, according to the International Game Fish Association.
But reeling in a 56-pounder is an achievement in itself.
"His was a pretty good catch," said the association's records administrator, Becky Reynolds.
The fate of his find -- fish head soup.
"The fish will be eaten," LaRoche said.
As far as LaRoche is concerned, he holds the state record for largest black drum caught using 6-pound test.
"It's my unofficial official state record," LaRoche said. "And I'll hold it until someone tells me otherwise."