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Angler’s 17-plus-pound snakehead fish declared a world record

It took Caleb Newton just about a minute to reel in the record-breaking 17-pound, 6-ounce northern snakehead fish that he caught earlier this summer in northern Virginia.

It took the International Game Fish Assn. considerably longer to confirm that Newton’s catch had set a new world record.

But now it has been confirmed, reports Newton’s local paper, the Free Lance-Star.

Newton’s catch is 2 ounces heavier than the previous largest northern snakehead fish catch on record, reeled in by a fisherman in Japan in 2004.

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PHOTOS: Weird sea creatures

Newton caught the fish in Aquia Creek, a tributary of the Potomac River that stretches for 27.6 miles.

The northern snakehead fish has earned the moniker “Frankenfish” in the media because it can do all kinds of un-fishlike things such as breathing only air for up to four days and crawling across land using its fins to get to a body of water.

It mostly eats other fish, although it occasionally snacks on frogs, crayfish and aquatic insects.

And it’s not a particularly attractive, with its tan elongated body, yellow eyes and sharp teeth. (You can see the teeth by clicking through the gallery above.)

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The northern snakehead fish is native to China, Russia and North and South Korea, but here in the U.S. it is considered an invasive species and has no natural predators.

A snakehead fish invasion in the Potomac River has Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources so spooked that it has offered prizes worth up to $200 to anglers who catch and kill at least one snakehead fish.

In Singapore, however, the fish is considered a delicacy.

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