Saturday, December 3, 2016

New Jersey State Record Winter Flounder (Spearfishing Category)

The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife recently announced that Chris Kahler speared a New Jersey state record winter flounder (spearfishing category).

Chris was free diving near a jetty in Manasquan Inlet when he speared the 3 pound, 5 ounce winter flounder which measured 20 inches in length.

In 2014, the NJ Record Fish Program was expanded with the addition of a Spearfishing category for saltwater.

Seventeen (17) species commonly sought after by spear fishers are included in the category.

For more information, visit

NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Massachusetts Striped Bass Research

striped bass

Massachusetts is home to one of the largest striped bass fisheries in the USA. The state's recreational striped bass fishery attracts hundreds of thousands of recreational anglers each year.

In Massachusetts, a variety of research and monitoring programs are conducted on striped bass, some of which help support the regional management process.

Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (MarineFisheries) has participated in the Striped Bass Cooperative State‐Federal Coast‐wide Tagging Study since 1991.

The study's primary objective has been to develop an integrated database of tag releases and recoveries that will provide current information related to striped bass mortality and migration rates.

During 2015, Striped Bass Research Project staff conducted 14 trips aboard contracted vessels, tagging a total of 365 striped bass.

Annual post‐release survival of striped bass (28 inches and greater) tagged in Massachusetts waters has been relatively stable over the last decade, averaging 74%.

A technical report summarizing the tagging studies conducted by MarineFisheries since 1991 is available:

Nelson, G. A., J. Boardman and P. Caruso. Massachusetts striped bass tagging programs, 1991‐2014. Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries technical report TR‐61. 37 p.

For more information, visit the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries website.

source: Massachusetts Marine Fisheries 2015 Annual Report

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

North Carolina State Record Cubera Snapper

North Carolina state record cubera snapper - 58 pounds (courtesy NC DMF)

A new North Carolina state record cubera snapper has been certified by the state's Division of Marine Fisheries.

Randal Harmon of Morehead City caught the cubera snapper on Sept. 28 while fishing off Atlantic Beach on the Capt. Stacy headboat.

The fish weighed 58 pounds, topping the previous state record by 11 pounds, 8 ounces.

The previous state record was caught in the Atlantic Ocean in 1993. The world record cubera snapper weighed 124 pounds, 12 ounces and was caught off of Louisiana in 2007.

The fish measured 39 inches total length (tip of the nose to the tip of the tail) and had a 34-inch girth.

Harmon caught the record-setting snapper using cut mackerel on 80-pound test line.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

North Carolina State Record Scamp

A recently caught scamp set a North Carolina state record and is a pending IGFA world record.

Teddy Wingfield, a 9-year-old from Lookout Mountain, Tenn., reeled in the enormous scamp on June 2 while fishing in waters off of Atlantic Beach.

The scamp weighed in at 32 pounds, topping the former state record by nearly 5 pounds and the world record by 2 pounds, 6 ounces.

Wingfield has applied for the all-tackle world record title through the International Game Fish Association. The application is pending approval.

The former state record, a 27-pound, 1-ounce fish, was also caught off Atlantic Beach in 2012. The current all-tackle world record scamp is 29 pounds, 10 ounces and was caught off Dauphin Island, Ala. in 2000.

Wingfield’s fish spanned 43 inches total length (tip of the nose to the tip of the tail) and measured 28 inches around the girth.

He caught the scamp while fishing on the Sunrise II charter boat.

source: North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries

Saturday, June 25, 2016

2015 North Carolina Recreational Saltwater Fishing Statistics

According to recent statistics from the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries (NC DMF), recreational saltwater catches increased in 2015. 

Anglers in North Carolina brought an estimated 10.2 million fish to the docks in 2015, an increase of 6.8 percent over 2014. The estimated weight of these landings rose by 32 percent to 11.6 million pounds. Anglers released 6 percent more fish, compared to 2014.

In terms of pounds landed dockside, the top five recreational species for 2015 were dolphin, bluefish, yellowfin tuna, cobia and wahoo.

The number of dolphin taken increased by 132 percent over the previous year to 430,296 fish (3.2 million pounds), the highest since 2011.

Anglers landed 19,284 wahoo weighing 534,787 pounds, a 66 percent increase.

Cobia harvests totaled 15,875 fish weighing 675,859 pounds, the highest since 2013. The average weight of the cobia nearly doubled from 2014.

Anglers brought 10.7 percent fewer yellowfin tuna to the docks; 24,205 fish weighing approximately 723,127 pounds.

NC DMF speculates that dolphin, wahoo and cobia harvests may have increased as a result of an absence of yellowfin tuna.

Recreational harvests of bluefish decreased by 16 percent to 911,983 fish (769,262 pounds).

Spotted seatrout harvests for 2015 were estimated to be the lowest on record. The low catches follow back to back cold stuns in 2013 and 2014.

NC DMF closed spotted seatrout harvest Feb. 5 to June 15 in 2014 to allow the fish that survive the cold stun event the maximum chance to spawn in the spring.

Another possible factor may have been the abnormal amount of rainfall in eastern North Carolina in the fall and winter of 2015 that flushed the creeks with freshwater, causing fish to move to higher salinities.

Despite low spotted seatrout harvests in 2015, estimates of recreational released catch (undersized) were at near record levels.

For a full landings report, visit

source: North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries