Jansen Weaver of Abbeville caught a 91.45-pound ling on June 14 while fishing with his future father-in-law out of Don’s Boat Landing. His giant catch is currently leading the ling division of the CCA Louisiana STAR Tournament.
Weaver was fishing aboard the “Steady Current,” Joey Comeaux’s 36-foot Yellowfin around a dozen or so anchored shrimp boats when he caught the fish.
“We were snapper fishing, and having good luck around the shrimp boats. The fish congregate around those boats, which often sweep their by-catches off their decks and chum up the water. We had caught some snapper and some other ling just bouncing jigs off the bottom from one shrimp boat to the next. And then Jansen saw a big ling,” said Comeaux, who is also from Abbeville.
What he was using
Weaver was fishing with a 6-ounce jighead dressed with a curly tail grub on a Shimano Saragossa 10,000 reel spooled with 80-pound braided line. They’d already boated a 53-pound ling, and when Weaver saw the next ling, he knew it was bigger.
“I was driving the boat, just keeping us off of the shrimp boats and I asked him if it had any size to it. He said ‘it’s way bigger than the last one,’” said Comeaux.
“I could see it real clearly and I asked him (Comeaux) to back the boat a little bit. I dropped the jig down right in front of the ling and a jack crevalle grabbed it. I reeled it in and unhooked it, then tossed the jig right back to the last place I’d seen the ling,” said Weaver.
Too late for this ling
After jigging the lure just once or twice, Weaver said the fish bit. And while ling are known for epic in-the-water battles, this one did not appear to realize it was hooked until it was much too late.
“It was really weird. It didn’t act anything like what a ling normally does when it’s hooked. I turned the reel handle maybe five or six times and it was at the boat. One of the other guys gaffed it and we hauled it aboard,” said Weaver. “As soon as it hit the deck, it spit the hook.”
“That fish came in green. Then he started fighting once he got on the boat, but it was too late then,” said Comeaux. “Jansen’s got the lead in the STAR tournament and there’s still some time left for somebody else to take over, but I feel pretty good about his catch. It’s the largest ling ever recorded during a STAR event in Louisiana. I hope it holds up for him.”
Comeaux said that fish made a good day of fishing even better. They caught their fill of snapper and ended up with a total of five ling on the trip. And if Weaver’s ling keeps the lead through Labor Day, they’ll have another $5000 in fishing gear from CCA.