Nov. 6 (UPI) — A Florida angler broke a state record when he landed a non-native lionfish measuring a staggering 18.19 inches long in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Donald Bautrinot was spearfishing for red snapper off the coast of Destin when he spotted the big lionfish.
“I saw a monster lionfish and immediately knew I wanted to measure it,” Vautrinot said. “I got really excited because I knew the Gulf record was around 18 inches but I didn’t know exactly and we didn’t have a cell signal to check it out there.”
Bautrinot’s fish measured 18.19 inches long, beating the previous Gulf of Mexico record of 18.07 inches.
Lionfish are considered an invasive species in Florida and “open season” for the fish lasts all year long.