11-year-old angler catches record snapper

Jayden Medina said catching the new state junior angler record mangrove snapper didn’t come easy.

mang“He was a really big fighter,” the 11-year-old Clear Lake angler said. “I was like ‘aww, c’mon, oh, it’s coming up!’”

Medina said his dad was the first person to realize how big a fish the mangrove was.

“I was so excited,” Jayden said. “The last person who caught the record was like a 16 year old.”

The mangrove snapper weighed 11.03 pounds, besting the previous record of 9.06 pounds.

Medina said he had some advice for any other junior anglers who hope to catch a record fish.

“Just never give up — when you’re trying for awhile and you’re not catching any fish, just don’t give up,” he said. “Keep trying.”

Medina’s dad, Tom Hearring, said finding a certified scale for the fish was difficult.

“It was 11 p.m., and we’re trying to call and find a scale that was still open,” Hearring said. “We had to wait until noon the next day.”

Hearring said they launched from Tiki Island in Galveston, where they started fishing over a few different wrecks, picking up some snapper on the way out. Once they reached the rigs, they started catching grouper.

“Then that fish started peeling drag,” he said. “We didn’t realize how big it was until we got back to the dock and compared him to the other snapper.”