Juliana Merighi has been fishing since she was five years old. Little did she know that by age 13 the Vineland, N.J. native would be breaking world records.
“I don’t even think the fish was unhooked yet and I was saying to her, ‘Wow, you just achieved what guys in their 70s and 80s have fished their whole lives for and never, never get to attain’,” Juliana’s father Tom Merighi told NBCPhiladelphia in November.
And while many predicted Juliana's fish was a record breaker when she caught it in October, the family finally got word this week that she broke the world record.
Juliana has been awarded the Junior Female World Record for the largest striped bass in her age group by the International Game Fish Association, according to Tom Merighi.
The bass Juliana caught is almost as big as she is.
The Cumberland County girl landed the 58-pound striped bass in the Delaware Bay off Cape May County. The former world record-breaking bass was 47 pounds and was caught off the shore of North Wildwood, N.J., in 2006.
“When it came up and I saw how big it was, I was like, amazed,” Juliana told NBC Philadelphia in November.
As for the fish’s fate? Juliana did not taste the fruits of her labor. The fish was eaten by some friends of the family.
“I don’t like fish. I only like sushi,” Juliana said.