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William Joseph Peckham caught the Gulf kingfish (whiting) of a lifetime on April 18 while fishing off Pensacola Beach. His 2.4-pound catch beat out the previous Florida Saltwater Fishing Record of 2.19 pounds. “I’ve had so many exciting, memorable experiences fishing on Pensacola Beach,” said Peckham. “Catching this record-breaking whiting tops the list.”

Want to land the next state record? It’s simpler than you think. There are no records listed yet for white grunt, blueline tilefish and schoolmaster snapper conventional tackle categories, as well as many fly-fishing tackle categories, giving anglers an exciting opportunity to hold the record for these species.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) maintains state records in conventional tackle and fly-fishing categories for 81 species caught in Florida state waters and federal waters. Saltwater record holders receive a certificate of accomplishment, prize pack, recognition in various publications and a custom ink fish print to memorialize their catch courtesy of Fish Print Shop.

To qualify for a record, the catch must be weighed with a certified scale on land and photographs must be submitted clearly showing the weight displayed on the scale, the scale’s certification, the rod and reel used to make the catch, the angler with their catch, and various views of the fish for identification purposes. The angler’s signature on a completed application form must be witnessed by a notary.

For more information and to view current records, visit CatchaFloridaMemory.com and click “Records,” contact [email protected] or call 850-487-0554.

Florida Saltwater Fishing Records are part of FWC’s Catch a Florida Memory – Saltwater Angler Recognition program, which rewards anglers for their fishing efforts while encouraging them to target a diversity of species. To learn more and submit catches, visit CatchaFloridaMemory.com. Check out the latest catches and see your achievements highlighted by following the Catch a Florida Memory Facebook page, Facebook.com/CatchaFLMemory, and view angler catches and much more on Instagram by following @MyFWC.

*This story was written by Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission

Katherine Viloria is Beasley Media Group's Fort Myers Digital Content Manager. She loves to write, snap photos, and watch Grey's Anatomy. Connect with her on Instagram @alittlethisalittlekat