La. angler boats world-record snapper

Variables are coming together to make May the perfect month for trophy trout at Calcasieu Lake

When Maggie Corbett left her Springfield, Missouri home on Wednesday to head down to Cocodrie for opening day of snapper season, she had a good feeling. Her plan was to target a large red snapper capable of eclipsing the current 30-pound ladies IGFA line class record. “When I left the hotel this morning, I just felt like it would happen today,” said Corbett.

Corbett was fishing aboard Capt. Tommy Pellegrin’s 36-foot Gravois “Reel Life” along with her husband, Daryl, her son Heath and his wife Page, Dr. Chuck Burnell and Bill Gardner.

The charter started out with choppy 3-foot seas, which were kicked up by a passing thunderstorm. As the seas calmed down later in the day, the group boated numerous snapper, but not the size fish Corbett was hoping for. Around noon while drifting near one of the captains favorite spots, Corbett hooked something that caused the custom Swampland rod she was using bend nearly in two.

“We had actually drifted about 400 yards off the spot when Maggie hooked a good one on a live mullet rigged on a Mustad circle hook,” said Pellegrin.

“I told the deckhand, whatever you do, don’t touch her or her rod…this could be her record fish,” he added.

Maggie cranked the fish as everyone else anxiously peered over the side watching for color. After an 8 minute struggle, the big sow surfaced and was boated and quickly weighed on a certified Boga Grip to get an idea of its size.

“Twenty-two pounds,” exclaimed the captain as he looked at the numbers on the manual scale.

Maggie Corbett had bested the existing record of 17 lbs. 6 oz. by nearly five pounds.

“I was ready to give up after several hours of trying,” said Corbett.

It seems her son, Heath, had accidentally hooked her line earlier in the day when she had what she though was a record fish near the boat.

“I actually sat down for a while and pouted on the front of the boat,” she confessed.

“My husband Daryl said “Get back here and get your rod and start fishing. It’s not over yet,” she added.

When asked about the captain that has guided her to her second IGFA World Record, Corbett had nothing but praise.

“Capt. Tommy is WONDERFUL. He is so knowledgeable and has so much experience in targeting records. He is very kind when we are on the boat and I really enjoy his company,” she said.

Assuming the 30# Tournament ANDE line tests properly, and the IGFA record application is approved by the International Game Fish Association, Corbett will hold both 30 and 50-pound line class red snapper records.

NOTE: The snapper was weighed again on land on a certified scale and the weight witnessed, as IGFA rules require.

Weights recorded at sea are not valid for submission except for IGFA Jr. Angler records. Jr. Anglers may weigh their catch on a boat, which allows them to relase the fish if they choose.

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