May 02, 2022
A Georgia angler broke a tie for the biggest mahi-mahi in state history with a record fish that weighed nearly 70 pounds.
"It wore me out. I couldn’t hardly breathe,” James Roberts, of Midway, Ga., told the Georgia DNR of the 68-pound, 1.6-ounce mahi-mahi (dolphinfish) he caught on April 26.
"It was a blast, the best time of my life. I haven’t hardly been able to sleep since."
Roberts, 53, caught the record while fishing over Deli Ledge about 80 miles east of St. Catherines Island, according to DNR’s Coastal Resources Division, which administers the Georgia Saltwater Game Fish Records Program. It was the last fish of the day caught aboard Capt. Michael Bell’s boat Salty Intentions.
Roberts’ record, which took 30 minutes to boat, bested a record that had been shared by Will Owens of St. Simons Island and Michael Sheppard Jr. of Savannah; Owens caught a 67-pound, 9.6-ounce fish in 2019, and Sheppard caught a 67-pound, 6-ounce fish in 1997. Under state rules, fish over 20 pounds must weigh eight ounces more than the current record. Roberts’ catch satisfied that requirement.
The record was weighed on a state-certified scale at the Georgia DNR Richmond Hill Fish Hatchery.
"This achievement recognizes not only the size of the catch, but Mr. Roberts’ skill as an angler and the sportsmanship he displayed in landing a record-setting game fish," said Doug Haymans, director of DNR’s Coastal Resources Division, in a new release.
Roberts used a 6-foot Star stand-up rod with a Penn Squall 16VS reel spooled with 60-pound line rigged with ballyhoo.
See more: CoastalGaDNR.org/SaltwaterRecords
Maryland: White Perch in Isle of Wight Bay
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) confirmed a new state record for white perch (Atlantic division). Robert “Bob” Hudson, of Ocean Pines, unexpectedly landed the 1.85-pound white perch in the Isle of Wight Bay near Ocean City.
Hudson and a friend intended to go clamming, but saw some active fish in the bay. With no rod on board, the duo headed back to shore to find gear. With a beginner light spinning rod and a “Roy Rig” – locally popular lure that is basically a rubber shad body rigged on a lead head – Hudson returned to the water and after two casts, caught the record white perch.
“Look at the size of that,” Hudson said after reeling in the white perch. “We never see (white perch) in the middle of the bay.”
Hudson’s record catch was weighed on a certified scale at Crabs to Go by Sarah Stephan and officially confirmed as a white perch – Morone americana – by a DNR biologist.
The catch surpassed the previous Maryland state record held by Ryan Timmons with a 1.7-pound white perch caught in 2016.
The department maintains state records for sport fish in four divisions – Atlantic, Chesapeake, Nontidal and Invasive – and awards plaques to anglers who achieve record catches. Fish caught from privately-owned, fee-fishing waters are not eligible for record consideration.
Anglers reporting a potential record catch should call 443-569-1381 or 410-260-8325. The fish should be immersed in ice water to preserve its weight until it can be checked, confirmed, and certified by the department.—Maryland Department of Natural Resources news release.