Brevon reels in rare butterfish

Brevon Elliott has a new claim to fame by nabbing a rare species of fish. 

The local angler, who is the chief fire officer with the Cayman Islands Fire Service, recently caught a 19 pound, 11 ounce pomfret. The catch figures to be a new world record, once it is approved by the International Game Fishing Association. 

Elliott, 37, spoke about how the fish was reeled in. 

“I was raised in East End but currently I reside in Midland Acres, Bodden Town,” Elliott said. “Since my younger years, I have had a passion for fishing and in recent times I have competed in many of the local tournaments. I was fishing in the Cayman Swordfish Challenge on the boat Silver Fox, a 34 foot Rampage Sportfisher boat, with captain Mack McLean and crew Nicholas Elliott and Giovanni McLean.  

“Shortly after 3pm, on the second day of the tournament we set up for our drop just off East End with two lines, one around 700ft and the other around 1,400ft. About 45 minutes into the drift, I noticed a little movement on the 1,400ft line, which was a 80lb test spooled on a Shimano tiarga and mounted on a custom built rod by Joel of Kirk Marine. I strapped into the harness and started reeling it in to take up any slack. 

“To my amazement there was no fight, it just felt like added weight on the line so I questioned whether or not the fish had got off. Once the leader was in sight, this deep sea creature with bulging eyes was hooked at the other end. At first we didn’t know what to think of it and after putting it in the boat, it started to display a unique gold texture; however, that was the only thing unique about the fish.” 

Elliott, who would see Emil Terry star in the Swordfish event on the Disco Fever boat, went on to say he did not realize until later that the fish is a possible record.  

“My crew inquired with other friends as to what we had just caught. To our amazement, in a matter of minutes Christopher Kirkconnell told us it was a pomfret followed by the remarks that “they taste good.” Further into our conversation with Chris, he told us that the IGFA record was around 19lbs 1oz and it was apparent that this fish was clearly heavier.  

“We put him on ice and continued to fish looking for that swordfish hook-up. As the night went on, we also landed one snake mackerel and two escolars but no swordfish. Once the tournament was over, we headed in but forgot all about the pomfret, until later that morning. Later that day, around 2pm, I met with Donna Sjostrom and Sandy Bush of the Cayman Islands Angling Club to weigh the fish at the Barcadere Marina in George Town and the scale read 19lbs 11oz.” 

For the record, pomfret is usually found in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. Often called a butterfish, pomfret is a popular seafood dish in Asia.  

Angling club president Franklin Thompson states efforts are being made to get Elliott’s catch certified as a world record. 

“The pomfret fish was caught in Cayman over the weekend of 1 April,” Thompson said. “This fish is heavier than the current world record for the species and we will be submitting it to the game fishing association for consideration as a new world record.” 

News of the catch comes during a busy time on the local angling scene. Aside from the swordfish tournament, there was the annual Rooster Shootout, which saw big fish from the likes of Carolyn Paffenroth. 

Up next is the Kirk Slam, Cayman’s only all-dolphin competition, this weekend on 14-15 April. Action takes place on Cayman’s waters 6am-4pm each day with the weigh-in at the Barcadere Marina at 4-6pm. First place earns $5,000 cash with $2,000 and $1,000 on offer for second and third place. 

Last year, the inaugural edition saw the Liquor Box crew, featuring lady angler Jenny Eldridge, catch a 37.7lb dolphin. 

Royal Palms hosts registration for the Kirk Slam on Thursday, 12 April, from 6-8pm and the prize-giving ceremony next Monday, 16 April, from 7pm. 

Brevon pomfret

Brevon Elliott caught a record pomfret fish. – PHOTO: SUBMITTED

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