New Jersey Angler Catches Record Hammerhead Shark

Scott Cusick of Jackson, NJ set a new Maryland state record by reeling in a scalloped hammerhead shark weighing 266 pounds, eight ounces, at the White Marlin Open tournament on August 8. His catch won the tournament?s largest shark category, earning him a prize of $5,150.Cusick and crew members caught the shark aboard the boat Milling Around, a 50-foot Viking sport fishing boat, in search of tuna and marlin. They were fishing near a pod of pilot whales over the Washington Canyon, about 60 miles southeast of Ocean City. Cusick said the fish put up a tough, tuna-like fight for about 45 minutes, stripping the 100-pound test line down to the backing on an 80-wide Italian Alutecnos reel.?We were sure it was a bigeye tuna. We had been marking tuna on the sonar and boats nearby were hooked up, fighting bigeyes,? said Cusick. ?It wasn?t until we saw the color and length of the fish, that we knew it was a shark.?The crew cruised back to Harbor Island Marina where the fish was weighed. Tournament weigh-master Dale Timmons informed Cusick that he had won the shark division and that the fish could be a state record. Maryland Department of Natural Resources? (DNR) fisheries biologist Chris Jones then certified the catch as a Maryland record scalloped hammerhead shark.The previous record was a 254-pound fish caught by Jamie Gill over Massey?s Canyon in 2009.Cusick will be recognized as a 2012 state record achiever at the Maryland Fishing Challenge Finale and Grand Prize Drawing on September 8 at the Maryland Seafood Festival, at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis.The Maryland Fishing Challenge is a year-round contest for all anglers in Maryland. Anglers who catch and register any of the more than 80 Maryland Angler Award eligible sport fish species receive certificates of achievement and invitations to the Grand Finale. This year?s celebration will include chances to win a Tracker boat, a tropical vacation from the World Fishing Network(WFN), tackle packages from Bill?s Outdoor Center and Bass Pro Shops, Under Armour gear and gift cards from various sponsors.Now in its eighth year, the Challenge showcases Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay as a premier sport fishing destination with accessible, affordable, diverse and high quality fishing for anglers of all ages? from the crystal mountain streams, to the central Maryland lakes and the mighty Potomac River, down to the Chesapeake Bay, the Coastal bays and the Atlantic Ocean.

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