Virginia Man Catches Record-Breaking “Frankenfish”

A 17-pound, 6-ounce northern snakehead snagged by a Virginia man has been certified a world record catch of the invasive species some call "Frankenfish."

The monster was hauled in by Caleb Newton in Aquia Creek on June 1.

The International Game Fish Association confirmed the record catch, The Free Lance-Star reported Wednesday. It beat a 17-pound, 4-ounce snakehead caught in Japan in 2004.

"His record has been approved and we'll be sending the certificate later this week, or early next week," said Jack Vitek, world-record coordinator for the Florida-based IGFA.

Newton, 27, was fishing with a friend in a tournament when he hooked the monster. "It took me about a minute to get it in the boat," the Spotsylvania County plumber said after the catch.

The 3-foot-long fish barely fit in his cooler.

The snakehead is native to China, Korea and Russia. It can breathe air, survive on land and adapt and thrive in foreign environments.

It was first discovered in a Maryland pond in 2002 and since then has spread into several Chesapeake Bay tributaries.

Some have dubbed it "Frankenfish" for its fearsome appearance and adaptability.

Contact Us