Skip to main content

Stuart, Florida Woman Hooks State and World Record Tilapia

Stuart, Florida Woman Hooks State and World Record Tilapia

Now officially certified, fish weighed 9.6 pounds and measured 24-inches long.






Pam Henry was fishing off her dock on the St. Lucie River in Martin County when she caught this state- and world-record blue tilapia.(Photo courtesy of Pam Henry)

It's official. Pamela Henry of Stuart broke state and world records when she reeled in a 9.6-pound blue tilapia last August. The fish measured 24 inches long. A taxidermist is mounting the record-breaking fish.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) recently certified the fish as the largest caught recreationally in state waters. Additionally, the International Game Fish Association issued the all-tackle world record for the species to Henry.


Henry was fishing off her dock last August in the south fork of the St. Lucie River in Martin County when she caught the big fish. She was using a bread ball and was fishing at night.

"I've been fishing my whole life, so it was always my mission to catch a record blue tilapia," said Henry. "I had researched the minimum weight, so I knew what I was looking for."

Blue tilapia are abundant throughout central and southern Florida. They feed primarily on plankton and small organisms living in or on the bottom. As a result, blue tilapia are not known for their angling quality. However, some urban anglers catch them in ponds, using bread balls, small pieces of hot dogs, dog food or live worms. They are rarely caught on artificial lures.

Blue tilapia generally have white, flaky meat with a mild flavor and are considered excellent eating. Farm-raised tilapia are often sold in grocery stores.

The FWC encourages catching and eating most exotic fish, including blue tilapia. Because they are nonnative, there is no size or bag limit.

"Our goal is to ensure quality fishing throughout Florida both now and in the future," said Tom Champeau, director of the FWC's Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management. "Ms. Henry's support and participation in the FWC's Big Catch Angler recognition program will help us maintain Florida's reputation as the Fishing Capital of the World."

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Popular Videos

The Rifle is the Barrel

The Rifle is the Barrel

During the fourth episode of Beyond the Rifle, we'll examine the barrel of the Lupo. Many hunters and shooters realize that a rifle's accuracy depends on the quality of its barrel, and Benelli ensures this critical component doesn't fall short.

Where to Find Catchable Fish

Where to Find Catchable Fish

Here are some suggestions of general fishing locations to look for in your area if you're heading out on an adventure with your family soon.

DIY Garage Bow Mechanic: List of Tools and How to Get Started

DIY Garage Bow Mechanic: List of Tools and How to Get Started

Wanting to tune, tinker, and test your archery equipment without taking a trip to the pro shop? Great. Here's a list of tools you'll need and how to get setup to become a DIY bow mechanic in your garage.

See All Videos

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Game & Fish stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now