August 23, 2019
Records are meant to be broken, which was the case for two long-standing state fishing records falling in Alabama and New Jersey.
The 38-year-old amberjack record fell in Alabama, while the New Jersey cobia mark was broken after 20 years, according to news releases this week from the respective wildlife agencies.
Here’s more on both catches:
New AJ Record in ‘Bama
Alabama’s 38-year-old record for amberjack was broken earlier this month in the Gulf of Mexico.
Brian Andrews’ massive 132-pound, 12.8-ounce amberjack broke the old record of 127-12, caught in June of 1981.
Andrews was aboard Capt. Bobby Walker’s Summer Breeze II charter boat on a fishing trip not long after the amberjack season had kicked back in on Aug. 1 in the Gulf.
The record fish measured 65 inches long and had a 40-inch girth.
Click here to read about more state records
Andrews, 37, who had caught a 70-pound AJ previously, wasn’t sure what was on the line; people on the charter boat though it might be a shark.
“I was trying to be positive, but several people were telling me it was a shark,” Andrews told David Rainer of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources in a news release. “He was pulling like a shark, but you never know. He made at least three big runs. It took at least 30 minutes to get him in. When he makes a run, all you can do is hold the rod and watch him go. When he starts peeling drag, you just hold on. When he stops peeling drag, you have to start taking some of the line back.”
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Later, a deckhand confirmed it was indeed an amberjack.
Comparatively speaking, Andrews’ amberjack is an elite-level trophy. Among Southeast states, only Florida (142 pounds) has a bigger fish listed as a state record. The International Game Fish Association all-tackle world record for greater amberjack is 163-2 (caught 2015 off Tokyo, Japan).
Click here to read more about Brian Andrews’ record day
NJ Cobia Record First in 20 Years
Len Andalis of Philadelphia reeled in a new state record cobia on August 9, 2019, weighing 90 pounds, 6 ounces, which broke the 20-year-old previous state record by 3 pounds, 6 ounces.
The fish measured 66 inches long and had a girth of 30 inches.
Len was fishing off his boat, the Francesca Rose, on the McCrie Shoal when the fish hit while he was casting. Len was using a Conley rod and a Shimano 8000 reel with 17-pound line. A white bucktail with Sluggo served as the lure.
Read more about New Jersey’s state-record program