832-pound bluefin tuna catch is record size, but not a record

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The catch of an 832.2-pound bluefin tuna off Florida in the Gulf of Mexico was a dream come true for Devin Sarver and the crew aboard the boat Noname over the weekend.

Though it was a record-size fish, it was not an official record.

The fishermen departed from Destin Harbor on Friday and came back Sunday with the giant bluefin, having covered 160 miles, according to WEAR-TV.

The information board at Harbor Walk Marina listed the angler as “Whole Team,” which included deck mates Sarver and Jeff Tolbert, and Captain Jake Matney. Also on the trip were Jennifer Matney, Jeremiah Matney and Jacob Matney.

“Fishing has always been a way of life for my family and something that we love to do together,” Captain Matney told WEAR-TV. “I’m very fortunate to have them on the boat for this and to have this caliber of fisherman on my team.”

The current state record for a bluefin tuna is 826.5 pounds caught by Rick Whitley on May 8, 2017. It was also caught in the Gulf of Mexico. But since multiple anglers combined to catch the 832.2-pounder aboard Noname, Sarver could only call it an “uncertified state record.”

Also on FTW Outdoors: Boy’s latest fish of a lifetime is an “absolute giant’

“Words cannot express how grateful I am!” Sarver wrote on Facebook. “What happened to us, the ups and downs of this battle make for a great story with great people! 5 hours before this fish was all said and done. THIS IS WHAT DREAMS ARE MADE OF!

“I’ve never had so much respect for a fish and to catch him in the Gulf of Mexico is a feat of its own!! This bluefin was as bad as they come, God is great!”

It was especially rewarding considering what happened on the crew’s last trip.

“We were stoked to finally land one that we could bring in and hang up,” Tolbert told WEAR. “It’s harder than people think. Last trip we fought one for 10 hours and it broke off. So bringing in this one meant a lot to me.”

Photos courtesy of April Sarver.

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