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A tasty potential world record

By Taylor Mitchell
Aug. 8, 2014 at 6:36 p.m.
Updated Aug. 8, 2014 at 11:41 p.m.

Blake Carter, 12, holds up a chum salmon he caught while on a fishing trip to Ketchikan, Alaska, with his father, Craig, and grandfather, Carroll.

Not many people know what a potentially world record-setting fish tastes like.

Blake Carter and his family do.

"It tastes good," the 12-year-old seventh-grader at Yoakum Junior High said.

While on a fishing trip in Ketchikan, Alaska, with his father, Craig, and grandfather, Carroll, that was the first excursion they took on an Alaskan cruise, Blake caught a chum salmon that had their fishing guide impressed.

"He (the guide) said it was the biggest chum salmon he'd ever seen," Craig recalled about the July 7 fishing trip. "But he didn't say anything about a world record or that we should get it mounted. We didn't think much of it."

The chum salmon could've been a world record, and it will be mounted.

The fish Blake caught measured 39 inches with a girth of 23 inches. According to the International Game Fish Association, the world record for a chum salmon's length is 34.6 inches.

Unfortunately, the fish wasn't measured using an official IGFA ruler nor was it weighed on a certified scale. Which means there won't be any revisions to the record books.

"We're excited for him," Craig said. "We're disappointed he doesn't get the official record, of course. We're proud of him though because he did it all by himself."

"It's still a once-in-a-lifetime catch," Blake said.

The catch is something Blake will remember for the rest of his life, and it wasn't easy to reel it in.

"It was hard to reel him in. I could never make much progress," Blake said. "It was like trying to pull in a big shark. It had a lot of fight."

But the chum salmon didn't have enough fight to break free and was eventually reeled in by Blake - without any help.

Craig was able to measure the fish by using some fishing line and cut it to the length of the fish. He later measured it, and once he returned home from the vacation, began to research how big it was.

"It wasn't easy to find at first, but I found the records," Carig said. "That's when we realized it could've been a world-record fish."

Of course, there is disappointment that the record won't have Blake's name next to it. But Blake is still happy to have the memory.

And what could have been a world-record fish in his belly.

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