Two tagged red snapper in one day

On June 14, Caitlin Domingues of Erath was fishing with her dad around drilling rigs out of Don’s Boat Landing when she caught two tagged red snapper. When helping clean the fish later, she was shocked to see the tags were numbered consecutively.

One of the fish was tagged with number 2570. The other was tag 2571.

Who knows what the odds are of catching a tagged fish. It certainly happens, but many anglers fish a lifetime and never catch one. The odds of catching two in one day are surely long. And the odds of those two being numbered consecutively must be astronomical.

What are the odds

Jim Domingues, Caitlin’s dad, has been fishing the same area for over 30 years and is still in disbelief about his daughter’s catches.

Caitlin Domingues caught these two red snapper within 30 minutes of each other on June 14, 2019. They were tagged 17 minutes apart by Auburn University in May of 2018.
Caitlin Domingues caught these two red snapper within 30 minutes of each other on June 14, 2019. They were tagged 17 minutes apart by Auburn University in May of 2018.

“I’ve been fishing these waters for over 30 years, and I’ve never caught a tagged fish. I was just tickled to see her catch one. But when she caught the second one, I just couldn’t believe it. And then when we saw that they were numbered consecutively — I’m just still in disbelief. That’s just amazing to me,” he said.

They began researching the tags and learned they were from an Auburn University tagging trip conducted on May 9, 2018 out of Pecan Island. The two fish were tagged 17 minutes apart on that day. Caitlin caught them within 30 minutes of each other.

“I asked the guys at Auburn University what are the odds of that happening. They couldn’t even begin to guess,” Jim Domingues said.

The tag numbers were inside the fish, so Caitlin Domingues didn’t realize they were tagged consecutively until they were cleaning the fish.
The tag numbers were inside the fish, so Caitlin Domingues didn’t realize they were tagged consecutively until they were cleaning the fish.

Caitlin claims the bounty

Caitlin caught the two fish on dead pogies on the upside of the drilling rigs in water that was about 100 feet deep.

After cleaning the fish, they sent the tags, along with measurements of the two fish, to the research facility at Auburn. When she caught the first fish, she told her dad something was hanging out  of it.

“She told me there was something hanging out of the fish. My cousin was fishing with us too. He looked at it and said ‘that’s a tag.’ I was just tickled for Caitlin, but man I just can’t say how shocked I still am about her catching the second one. Each one of those tags had a bounty of $150 on it. So I’ll be taking Caitlin again and she’ll have enough money to pay for gas for the trip,” her dad said with a chuckle.