|THREE OF A KIND: Pat Hirsch shows off his Virginia citation bluefish (above, snowy grouper (middle) and world-record blueline tilefish (bottom).|
Forrest gump had it all wrong with his mama's "box of chocolates": Life is like dropping a line in 300 feet of water. Just ask Virginia Beach angler Pat Hirsch. In March, he hauled in one surprise after the next. Fishing aboard the Jil Carrie, Hirsch caught a rose belly (not shown) and a snowy grouper (both firsts for the charterboat), a 361/4-inch bluefish (good enough for a citation in the Virginia Salt Water Fishing Tournament) and a 15.4-pound blueline tilefish (good enough for a new all-tackle world record). He'd like to say his cornucopia catch was all skill, but he knows there was more at play than that. "It was luck," Hirsch says. "When you're fishing in water that deep, you never know what you're gonna get."