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Victoria man sets saltwater fishing record

June 27, 2014 at 1:27 a.m.

FROM LEFT: Captain Russel Cady, Joey Beaver, Johnmichael Caraway, Darren Drake and Jason Jones pose with their haul of red snappers after a June 1 fishing trip. The haul includes a Texas state fishing record fish, center, that was caught by Beaver. The red snapper weighed in at 39 pounds and was 40 inches long.

A 39-POUND FISH IS:

n As heavy as the average 4-year-old

n As heavy as 4.5 jugs of 1-gallon milk

n As heavy as 78 8-ounce steaks

It's official.

Victoria's Joseph Beaver is in the Texas record books.

The 28-year-old broke the state's saltwater fish record June 1 after he caught a red snapper with a whopping weight of 39 pounds at Port O'Connor. The fish's length was measured at 40 inches.

The previous record was created in June 1998, when Jack Brumby caught a 38-pounder in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

"It was just surreal," said Beaver, who said he used a Penn reel fishing rod and squid as bait.

"Everybody was just hysterical," said Beaver, who works in the post office. "They thought I was in a tournament, which I wasn't. They were like, 'You won! You won!'

"Everybody just came around the boat," he added. "They were taking pictures, and they thought it was the coolest thing ever."

It was a typical fishing morning for Beaver, who said he went out about 7 miles out of Port O'Connor with father-in-law and captain, Russel Cady; brother-in-law, Johnmichael Caraway; and Cady's friends Jason Jones and Darren Drake. Cady owns the all-welded aluminum boat.

"We always fish," said Beaver, who has caught plenty of big ones before. The largest one, he said, was a 6-foot shark.

Little did he know he was going head to head with the biggest of them all on this particular Sunday.

"It was a good 15- to 20-minute battle," said Beaver, who went to The Fishing Center about an hour after his big catch. There, it was weighed by a game warden.

Beaver is having his trophy fish mounted in fiberglass.

And like any other catch, Beaver and his family did what they would normally do with their fish.

"We ate it," said Beaver's wife, Lillian Savana Beaver. "It was delicious. So tender and flavorful. It was so much fish; I had to use my food saver and separate it. We still have about half of the fish left in the freezer."

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