12-Year-Old Florida Boy Reels in 58-Pound Fish, Sets Two World Records

Nicholas Fano's giant crevalle jack smashed IGFA’s previous Junior World Record.

October 30th began as a normal Saturday for 12-year-old Nicholas Fano. That afternoon, he and a friend went to the dock across the street from his family's house in Palm City, Florida, to do a bit of fishing in Bessy Creek.

"I just threw a bait out to see what would happen. When the fish hit, it started taking out the line, but slowly at first," Nicholas, a young but vastly experienced angler, told Treasure Coast Newspapers.

Nicholas Fano Jack Fish
Courtesy Dennis Fano

It didn't take long for him to realize he had hooked something really big.

Nicholas' 16-year-old brother Anthony, who was sitting nearby, saw him struggling and ran to a neighbor's house to borrow a large landing net for what they could already tell was a giant crevalle jack.

"Big jacks have a head shaped like a plate, and I had light tackle, so I knew I couldn't horse it in, or the line would just pop," Nicholas told the newspaper. "I knew I couldn't get anybody to help me handle the rod, though, or else it wouldn't count as my fish."

So, the seventh grader dug in for a long fight. He said after about 30 minutes both he and the fish were tired. When the battle was over, Anthony was ready with the net. The boys brought it to the shoreline to measure and weigh it. The jack maxed out the scale at 58 pounds, 8 ounces.

After recording its measurements, they released the monster fish back into the water and watched it swim away. Then, they called their dad.

"When they told me how big it was, I thought it sounded really big, but I don't know anything about records. When I called my friend, he said to me, 'That sounds like it could be a world record," their dad Dennis told Treasure Coast Newspapers.

His friend was right. According to the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) website, Nicholas' jack was heavier than the world record.

They got the official news in December: Nicholas' fish set both the IGFA Male Junior World Record and IGFA Men's 50-Pound Line Class World Record for the species.

"Congratulations on this amazing fish Nicholas, and hopefully the first of many IGFA World Records," the association wrote in its world record announcement.

According to the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, the average crevalle jack weighs between three and five pounds, and rarely weigh more than 20.

Good job, Nicholas!

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