GEORGETOWN COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – During a fishing trip near Georgetown this past Monday, a Pawleys Island chef and his two friends caught two massive black drum fish; one may have beaten the state record at an estimated 110 pounds, and the other may actually set a world record at 122 pounds.
Adam Kirby, the chef and co-owner at Bistro 217 and Rustic Table in Pawleys Island, has been fishing out of Georgetown near the jetties for the last 14 years or so. This past Monday, he went out on another trip with his friends Alistair Bremner and Jim Maass.
On his first cast, Kirby said reeled in a black drum estimated to weigh 110 pounds. They estimated the fish's weight by the equation girth times girth times length divided by 800. They had to estimate it because the Boga Grips they used to weigh their fish max out at 60 pounds.
Then, about 40 minutes later, Bremner caught a second massive fish – this one was estimated to be 122 pounds, using the same formula, Kirby said. It was 43 inches in girth and 53 inches long.
Due to regulations from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, the fishermen weren't allowed to bring their fish in to be officially weighed, Kirby said. Black drum have to be between 14 and 27 inches to be kept – anything larger is considered a breeder fish and has to be thrown back.
Had they been allowed to officially weigh the massive fish, it would have beaten the state record and the world record for black drum fish, which is currently 113 pounds, Kirby said.
DNR said that the fish was somewhere between 60 and 80 years old, based on its size.
Kirby said they are still trying to go for the world record length through the International Game Fish Association, as they have a video recording of the length of the fish. They're filling out the record application now.
Kirby not only knows how to fish – he's also well-recognized chef who was appointed the 2017 Chef Ambassador for South Carolina by then-Governor Nikki Haley.
Watch video of Kirby catching one of the fish on his Facebook page here: