If the formula used to estimate the live weight of a redfish is correct, then a 53-inch tank caught and released earlier this month out of Venice could have been the new No.2-ranked red drum in the state record books.

Captain Boola Landry, with Reel Tite Fishing Guide Service out of Venice, said Jim Voyles of Ohio landed a giant red that measured 53 inches with a 30-inch girth using a Johnson gold spoon tight up against the canes on June 5. 

“The biggest scale I had won’t go over 50 pounds, and it pegged that one out,” Landry said. “Myself and the customer agreed to release the fish unless we knew for sure it would be No. 1 in the state, but I was certain it was a Top 10 fish.”

Using a formula from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources to determine redfish weight is pretty easy: just measure the girth at the fattest part of the fish and the length of the fish from the tip of the bottom jaw to the V of the fanned tail, and then plug that information into this formula:

(Girth x Girth) x Length/800

The resulting number is the estimated weight.

So on Voyles’ fish, 30 X 30 equals 900.

Now, multiply that by 53 (the length), and you get 47,700.

Divide that by 800, and the weight of the fish is estimated at 59.625 pounds —3 pounds heavier than the current No. 2 fish in the books, and less than 1 ½ pounds from the official state record 61-pounder caught by David Weber in 1992.