Snakeheads have been called “fish from hell,” and now a Virginia man can say he’s reeled in the largest one.

Snakehead Caleb Newton

Caleb Newton, who lives in Spotsylvania County, Va., holds Monday June 3, 2013, the 17 pound 6 ounce northern snakehead fish that he caught in Aquia Creek in Virginia. He officially landed the world record from the International Game Fish Association for this catch. (Photo: AP/The Free Lance-Star, Griffin Moores)

The Free Lance-Star reported Caleb Newton of Spotsylvania County landing in a snakehead weighing 17 pounds, 6 ounces — two ounces heavier than the previous record holder caught in 2004 — in June. He was informed of the official record through the International Game Fish Association this week.

“It took me about a minute to get it in the boat,” Newton said of the three-foot-long fish.

Spotsylvania Caleb Newton Lands World Record for 17 Pound Snakehead

This fish is an invasive species that has spread in the Potomac River and other rivers stemming off the Chesapeake Bay. (Photo: AP/The Free Lance-Star, Griffin Moores)

The Free Lance-Star noted that larger fish have been caught by bowfishermen, but they don’t count toward records requiring a hook and line. As for Newtown’s record, he said he doesn’t know “how long it will hold up,” but he’s enjoying it for the time being.

The invasive species has been plaguing some ecosystems in eastern states enough to merit rewards being offered for the most fish caught.

(H/T: NPR)

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