Florida

Man reels in 400-pound fish with a wrench

St. Petersburg man created lure out of No. 11 wrench and fished for grouper

A Florida man knew his self-made lure was unorthodox, but he never expected it to hook such an incredible catch.

Ryan Hein of St. Petersburg told WFTS that he created a lure with a No. 11 wrench the week before he went out on the water and hooked a 400-pound grouper with it. "A lot of mechanics know that you don't really use an 11 for anything," he said. "At least I never have. Some jigs can cost $20; I was just looking for a way to make a jig without spending so much money."

Hein said the fish was caught on the first drop and third pull, which bent his 50-pound rod in half without snapping it. With GoPro cameras on the entire time, Hein jumped in the water with the fish and removed a few hooks from its mouth before taking out the wrench and letting it go.

"I knew it was a big fish immediately. I had no control, just holding on while the fish just went wherever it wanted to go," he told WFTS. "I couldn't believe the gear held up and we landed the fish. That was just as unbelievable for me as using the wrench itself."

For his next excursion, Hein said he planned to use a No. 14 wrench and plans to continue creating homemade jigs, including one with a fork and butter knife.

Hein's catch isn't the only large one that has been reported recently. A Florida man reeled in a 124.18-pound grouper last year during a fishing tournament and another man caught a 300-pound grouper near Cape Canaveral that he named "The Dinosaur." A Hawaii man got in on the action with a photo of a 1,368-pound marlin he caught last year.

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