On January 2, 2015, Kenneth Westerfeld of College Point, NY landed a 28.8-pound tautog, which set a new Maryland state record for the species. Westfield's fish eclipsed the previous state record, a 23 pound tautog caught by Charles Donohue near Ocean City in 2012.
Westerfeld caught the fish using a Jonah crab rigged on a seven-foot, two-inch Calstar Custom rod loaded with 50-pound braided running line and a 50-pound fluorocarbon leader on a Shimano Tymos reel.
The fish was caught approximately 20 miles southeast of Ocean City while fishing in about 75-feet of water with Captain Kane Bounds on the charter boat Fish Bound.
"Ocean City is the best place for big tautog," said Westerfeld. "The water clarity is very good and the offshore wrecks hold some really big fish. I’ve been fishing very hard for over 20 years to catch a 20 pound tog."
Jacob Widgeon at Sunset Marina weighed the fish on the marina’s International Game Fish Association (IGFA)-certified scale.
Maryland Department of Natural Recourses fisheries biologist Keith Lockwood examined and confirmed the species, making the new Maryland record official. Westerfeld is pursuing the all-tackle world record certification with IGFA.
The current world record for tautog stands at 25 pounds.
source: Maryland Department of Natural Resources