August 24, 2021
It was the bite of a lifetime for one Florida angler who participated in a recent saltwater fishing tournament in Maryland.
Fishing in the 30th MidAtlantic fishing tournament out of Ocean City, Md., Billy Gerlach of Jupiter, Fla., turned in a state-record-sized blue marlin (Atlantic Division) weighing 1,135 pounds, according to the Maryland DNR.
"I've been waiting for that bite my whole life," Gerlach said in a news release. Gerlach's record, caught from the fishing boat Billfisher, broke a 12-yeard-old state record.
The fish struck while Gerlach's team was trolling Joe Yee Super Plunger lures 70 miles offshore near Washington Canyon. He said he was "praying for a bite" when he felt the fish hit, according to the DNR news release. It took three hours to boat the fish.
This was the second state-record report from Maryland in the recent weeks. The state swordfish record was broken in a late-July tournament, also out of Ocean City.
Gerlach's record catch was officially certified by tournament weighmaster Francis Ingram at Sunset Marina. A Maryland DNR biologist confirmed the catch.
Maryland compiles state fishing records in four categories: Atlantic, Chesapeake, Nontidal and Invasive. Fish caught from privately-owned, fee-fishing waters are ineligible for consideration.
If you think you've caught a Maryland record, download and fill out the state record application and call 443-569-1381 or 410-260-8325. It's best to immerse the fish in ice water to preserve its weight until it can be checked, confirmed, and certified.