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.


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.)


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.