On June 21 Henry Liebman of Seattle caught a 39.1-pound shortraker rockfish while fishing in Sitka, Alaska, with Angling Unlimited, breaking the Alaska state record by 6 ounces.
Remarkable not only for its size, but also the fact that there was some speculation by experts at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game that the fish may have been well over 200 years old. The story was widely repeated, but that intriguing story turned out to be the one that got away.
Following analysis by a lab in Juneau it was determined, by counting the rings in the otolith, or ear bone, the fish was a mere 56 years old.
Even without the dramatic longevity, it’s still a great catch for Liebman. The previous Alaska rockfish record stood since 2001.