ISLAMORADA, Florida Keys — Fishing with a light-tackle spinning rig and 10-pound-test line, Paul Asmuth of Helena, Calif., caught and released a 24-pound permit after a 53-minute fight Thursday, May 7, off the Florida Keys.
Asmuth is in South Florida for his induction into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale Saturday.
Fishing a patch reef oceanside off Islamorada with Captain Kerry Wingo, Asmuth hooked the permit on a yellow jighead with a live shrimp at about 3:30 p.m.
“Something hit hard and started peeling off line,” said Asmuth, general manager of The Napa Valley Reserve winery. “I thought maybe it was big shark.”
“It caught me off-guard,” said Wingo. “It was pretty special to see him catch a 24-pound permit on 10-pound line with a 20-pound leader — especially since we were just jigging for snapper.
The International Swimming Hall of Fame describes Asmuth as the most dominant marathon swimmer on the professional circuit during the 1980s. He holds seven World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation titles, competed in 59 international marathon races and was the first to swim around Manhattan Island in less than seven hours.