On a whim, a fisherman in Maine has reeled in a striped bass that is over 50 inches in length.
Capt. Randy Thurston has been fishing for striped bass, the largest of the sea bass family, since he was in his early twenties, he said.
He started out catching fish that were around 12 inches long, but it was enough to turn him into a fishing fanatic.
The Fisheries division of the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports that striped bass can grow to a maximum length of 5 feet (60 inches) and a maximum weight of 77 pounds. They also have a long life expectancy, up to 30 years.
According to NOAA Fisheries, commercial landings of striped bass from state waters were worth more than $13 million in 2021. They can be found in the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of North America, as well as in the Gulf of Mexico and certain inland lakes and reservoirs.
About seven years after he first started fishing, Thurston had put in enough time and money to catch a striped bass measuring 40 inches.
The fisherman then decided to target a 50-inch specimen. For a while, especially as he devoted more time to his work and family, he was unable to reel in such a catch.
Larry Blanchette, owner of Breakwood Fishing Adventures in the coastal Maine town of Ogunquit, called Thurston on August 1 to offer his services as a fishing guide.
The night fishing adventure got off to a rough start when Thurston had trouble with his gear. Thurston’s luck changed after he was given functional fishing equipment. There was a strong bite, and he fought with the fish for some minutes before he was able to bring it onboard the boat. It was 50 14 inches in length.
Thurston, overjoyed with his 50-inch capture, boasted to the newspaper, “I’ve been waiting for that fish for 20 years.” Up here, the figure is like a unicorn,” he continued.
On Facebook, he praised Blanchette for the opportunity, saying that she “is deserved maybe more credit than me!” because he didn’t want to steal all the glory for himself.
As Thurston described it: “On a day when he could have relaxed at home with his family, he instead put me on this fish despite having a free slot in his otherwise packed guiding itinerary. And he’s just as nice of a person as he is skilled at fishing.”
Since weighing striped bass by their lips could potentially cause damage to their internal organs, the weight of the fish had to be calculated. Thurston calculated that the fish weighed 45 pounds.