Alphonso Jackson and his children were having no luck catching anything in an Eastern North Carolina pond, so he took them to a spot on the Lumber River in Wagram where his father taught him to fish as a kid.
Using a cricket as bait, the 43-year-old avid fisherman caught a quite ugly but record-setting fish.
The 2-pound, 1-ounce redbreast sunfish caught June 10 broke a 36-year-old freshwater fish state record, according to a news release posted on Facebook Saturday by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.
Jackson had the fish weighed on certified scales at Safeway Market in Maxton, where he lives, according to the commission.
Officials described the fish on Facebook as “massive” for its type.
The fish broke the previous mark by 5 ounces, set on May 29, 1983, by Ronald Stanley in Big Swamp in Bladen County, officials said.
The redbreast sunfish is a common game fish throughout North Carolina, according to the commission.
The redbreast feast on “bottom-dwelling insect larvae, snails, clams, shrimp, crayfish and small fish,” according to the commission’s online profile of the fish.
Jackson told Wildlife Resources officials that he attributes his passion for fishing to his father, Johnny Jacobs.
“I’d like to thank my daddy for teaching me how to catch fish and where to catch fish,” Jackson said, according to the state release.
Jackson has passed his passion to his children, who are 23, 18 and 17 and who were fishing with him when he snared the record sunfish.