Jack Limroth's red drum will likely be a world record for length, but he believes it may not last long. Courtesy photo.

Aspiring Va. Charter Captain Catches Potential World Record Red Drum

Jack Limroth, 20, of Virginia Beach, hopes his recent catch of a potential world record red drum will give a boost to his fishing charter business, opening this season. But he admits he doesn’t expect to hold a place in the record books for long.

On June 3, Limroth was competing in the Red Drum Rodeo, a charity tournament that encourages middle and high school students to get out on the water. Long after sunset, Limroth hooked a big red drum while fishing along the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.

“We have a lot of big red drum in Virginia, but I knew this one was really big when I saw the tail. It looked like a broom,” said Limroth. The fish was measured on an official measurement device at 127 centimeters, or 50 inches. The current record is 125 centimeters, and was also caught in the Chesapeake Bay. Limroth knew his fish was larger than the existing length record and, if approved, would be a new length world record. After measurement and a photo, the fish was released.

Fishing world records are kept and validated by the International Game Fish Association (IGFA). The IGFA maintains a variety of record and award categories. What gets the most attention are the all-tackle weight records, which document the largest specimen of a species ever caught on rod-and-reel. However, there are many other record categories such as line weight classes, fly rod records, and all-tackle length records. This is Limroth’s category.

The IGFA started recognizing length records only within the last few years. The length category allows a fish to be caught, measured, and released alive. The length category is a conservation move, because a weight record requires that the fish be weighed on land on a certified scale, which usually results in the death of the fish.

Regarding his potential record, Limroth said “I knew this fish beat the current length record, but I have also seen bigger red drum myself. It is not the biggest red drum in the world.”

For now, Limroth will have to wait until the IGFA reviews his record application and hopefully approves it. Limroth grew up fishing coastal Virginia. As a youth, he chased speckled trout and drum inside Lynnhaven Inlet. He progressed from inshore to near shore, where he chases larger drum and cobia in the Chesapeake Bay. Limroth loves fishing so much that he turned his passion into his profession. His business, King Tide Charters, is up and running except for one glitch. He needs that Captains License. He has completed everything, and is now just waiting on the Coast Guard. He can be reached at 757-687-9973 or

Kendall Osborne