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Alaskan Angler Hauls in Monster State Record Rockfish

In a remarkable feat, Alaskan angler Keith Degraff recently reeled in a monster-sized rockfish that shattered the state’s previous record. With many years of experience under his belt, Degraff embarked on a fishing trip with his fiancee and friends, setting his sights on breaking the record. After just three hours and two drifts, Degraff hooked a rockfish so enormous that it initially had him believing he had caught a halibut. Weighing in at a staggering 42.4 ounces and measuring around 42 inches in length, this catch surpassed the previous record set in 2013. Degraff, who had been hoping to catch something other than a rockfish, expressed his surprise and satisfaction. Now the owner of the Alaska state record rockfish, Degraff’s unforgettable experience is a testament to his dedication and skill as an angler.

Alaskan Angler Hauls in Monster State Record Rockfish

The Record-Breaking Catch

On July 28th, Alaskan port captain and former fishing guide Keith Degraff made a historic catch in Prince William Sound. After just a few hours and only two drifts, Degraff reeled in the largest rockfish the state of Alaska has ever seen. Weighing in at an astonishing 42.4 ounces and measuring approximately 42 inches in length, this catch shattered the previous state record of 39.1 pounds set in 2013. This remarkable achievement has put Degraff in the spotlight and earned him a place in the fishing hall of fame.

A Surprise Haul

Degraff had been planning this fishing trip for over a year, but he never expected to catch a record-breaking fish. He was fishing in a way that he could catch something other than a rockfish, using hooks and bait in the hope of catching black cod or another deep-dwelling species. However, when he hooked this massive rockfish, he initially thought it was a halibut due to its enormous size. The surprise of reeling in such a colossal fish made this catch all the more special.

The Weigh-In

After catching the rockfish, Degraff took it to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to have it officially weighed. The fish was initially estimated to weigh around 50 pounds at the time of the catch. To ensure the highest quality of meat, Degraff bled the fish and put it on ice before having it weighed three days later. The official recorded weight of 42.4 ounces solidified Degraff’s place in the record books and amazed the experts at the Fish and Game department.

Age Determination

Rockfish are known for their slow growth and long lifespan, and determining the age of this massive specimen is of great interest. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game will be using the fish’s otolith, also known as the ear bone, to determine its age. Similar to the rings on a tree, otoliths have annuli that can provide valuable insights into the age of the fish. Preliminary estimates suggest that this rockfish could be anywhere between 60 and 120 years old, making it a true testament to the resilience and longevity of these species.

Conservation Efforts

Conservation efforts are crucial when it comes to species like rockfish that are slow-growing, long-lived, and mature late in life. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has established bag limits and regulations to protect rockfish populations. Anglers are urged to be conscientious and follow these guidelines to ensure the sustainability of these species. By practicing responsible fishing practices and adhering to bag limits, anglers can help preserve rockfish populations for future generations.

The Angler’s Story

For Keith Degraff, fishing is more than just a hobby or a job; it’s a way of life. Originally from Long Island, Degraff and his family have made Alaska their home. The opportunity to fish in Alaska and be surrounded by people who share his passion has made it difficult for him to even consider leaving. Catching the Alaska state-record rockfish has been a long-time goal for Degraff, and his perseverance and dedication have paid off.

Impact on Fishing

Degraff’s record-breaking catch has had a significant impact on the fishing community in Alaska. It has garnered attention from anglers nationwide and put a spotlight on the incredible fishing opportunities that Alaska has to offer. Many anglers are now inspired to visit Alaska and experience the thrill of fishing in its pristine waters. This increased interest in Alaskan fishing tourism can provide a boost to the local economy and support conservation efforts.

Making Alaska Home

Keith Degraff’s story is a testament to the allure of Alaska and its ability to captivate individuals and make them never want to leave. The natural beauty, abundant wildlife, and world-class fishing make Alaska a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. For Degraff and his family, the decision to call Alaska home was an easy one. He has found a community of like-minded individuals who share his love for fishing and appreciate the unique lifestyle that Alaska offers.

Owning a State Record

Catching the Alaska state-record rockfish has made Degraff a local legend. His name will forever be associated with this remarkable achievement, and his story will be shared among fishing circles for years to come. Owning a state record is a significant accomplishment in the fishing world and is a testament to an angler’s skill and determination. Degraff’s record will serve as a source of inspiration for future generations of anglers and showcase the incredible fishing opportunities that Alaska provides.

Watching Alaska’s News Source

If you want to stay up to date with the latest news and stories from Alaska, be sure to watch Alaska’s News Source. With their comprehensive coverage of local events, sports, and outdoor activities, they are the go-to source for all things Alaska. Whether you’re a fishing enthusiast, a wildlife lover, or simply interested in the unique culture of Alaska, Alaska’s News Source will keep you informed and entertained. Tune in and experience the beauty and excitement of Alaska from the comfort of your own home.

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