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Record-size grouper caught at Baja's East Cape

August 19, 2008 | 11:48 am

123.2-pound gulf grouper

Baja California’s East Cape region is famous for its marlin, tuna, dorado and roosterfish. But some monstrous reef fish prowl in that part of the Sea of Cortez too. And Esaul Valdez, general manager at Hotel Buena Vista Beach Resort, soon may land in the record books after his catch of a 123.2-pound gulf grouper.

Valdez has submitted the catch, made after a 30-minute fight, to the International Game Fish Assn. as an all-tackle world record. The current record is a 113-pounder caught eight years ago off Loreto to the north.

Valdez was clearly after a monster from the reef. He used a live skipjack for bait and was fishing with 80-pound-test monofilament and a 200-pound leader aboard the vessel Fisherman, skippered by Alfred “Perico” Sanchez.

Two other large groupers were caught in the same area on the same day.

—Pete Thomas

Photo: Esaul Valdez poses with the 123.2-pound gulf grouper that may land the Baja hotel executive in the IGFA world-record book. Credit: Hotel Buena Vista

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