Lucas Duke, a 14-year-old from Dexter, Ga, has been dubbed the Duke of Hatteras after catching what is believed to be the biggest dolphin ever caught by a youth angler while on a trip out of Hatteras Inlet last week.
Duke was fishing aboard the Wasabi, which left out of Teach’s Lair Marina, when he hooked and landed the 72-pound, 14-ounce mahi mahi, which is expected to shatter the current IGFA world junior angler record for the species.
The current IGFA (International Game Fish Association) junior angler record for dolphin is 61-pounds, 8-ounces. That record has stood since 1999 when the fish was caught by John Henderson in the Gulf of Mexico out of Louisiana.
In North Carolina, anglers can earn a citation award for dolphin if they catch one over 35 pounds, so that’s a given for the teenager, and he wasn’t far off from matching the current North Carolina state record, a 79 pounder that adult angler Sean Yurkanin caught in 1993, also out of Hatteras.
The world record dolphin, an 87-pound fish, was caught in 1976 in the Papagayo Gulf off the coast of Costa Rica in 1976.
Dolphinfish are one of the fastest growing fish in the ocean, but they also live very short lives. Catching one over 70 pounds is a rare feat.
The IGFA expects to certify Duke’s catch as the new junior world record within a matter of weeks.