May 23, 2019
One way to tell summer fishing has arrived is seeing reports of state-record catches almost every day across the country.
Three more reported were reported this week — two from Maryland and another in Michigan.
>>Click here for the latest state-record reports
Here’s the recent reports.
Bigmouth Buffalo: Tyler Fisher of St. Charles caught a record-breaking bigmouth buffalo, unseating the previous state-record fish that was caught in 2017. Fisher caught his fish – weighing in at 32.01 pounds and measuring 38 inches – while bowfishing in the Shiawassee River in Saginaw County. Kathrin Schrouder, a DNR fisheries biologist out of Bay City, verified the new record. Roy Beasley of Madison Heights, Michigan, held the previous bigmouth buffalo state record, a 27-pound, 35.25-inch fish he caught while bowfishing on Monroe County’s River Raisin in May 2017.
Over the last 10 years, anglers have caught 14 state-record fish in Michigan – a tribute to the growth and health of the state’s world-class fisheries and the long-term management efforts that help sustain them.
According to a recent MUCC study, an estimated 1.1 million licensed anglers a year contribute $2.3 billion to Michigan’s economy. Plentiful opportunities to fish a variety of species continue to draw both new anglers and accomplished veterans to Michigan waters.
State-record fish are recognized by weight only. To qualify for a state record, fish must exceed the current listed state-record weight, and identification must be verified by a DNR fisheries biologist.
The DNR reminds anglers who bowfish to properly dispose of all specimens they harvest. See the current roster of record-setting fish here.
White Hake: Brian Gay of Millsboro, Delaware, has been recognized by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources for a state fishing record in the Atlantic Ocean Division after reeling in a rare white hake off the coast of Ocean City.
Gay, an experienced angler, was fishing for sea bass in roughly 280 feet of water 50 miles off the coast in Poor Man’s Canyon when he felt the bite. After several minutes, Gay’s “monster” fish finally came to the surface. He caught the 16.71-pound fish using a “top-and-bottom” two-hook rig with a 16-ounce sinker, and clam bait.
“I had no idea what it was,” Gay said, noting that he and his companions thought what they had was a world record red hake, which is similar in appearance.To correctly identify the species, a department biologist carefully counted scales and examined the fish’s eye and jaw structure. Once officially identified as a white hake — Urophycis tenuis — the department chose to add the species to its official record book.
“The species is recognized by several northern states as well as the International Game Fish Association so it should distinguished as a state record in Maryland,” Recreational Fishing Outreach Coordinator Erik Zlokovitz said.
Martin’s Fish House in Ocean City officially certified the weight.
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 ineligible for consideration.
Anglers who think they have a potential record catch should download and fill out a state record application and call 443-569-1381 or 410-260-8325. The department suggests fish be immersed in ice water to preserve weight until it can be checked, confirmed and certified.
Bullhead: A Baltimore City angler has been awarded the Maryland state non-tidal fishing record for catching a 4.9-pound bullhead catfish.Nick Palese, 32, caught the bullhead catfish May 18 along Big Gunpowder Falls in Baltimore County.
The lifelong angler was kayak fishing for largemouth bass in about five feet of water when he got a strong bite. Palese thought at first he’d caught the “bass of a lifetime.” After fighting with the fish more than three minutes, he hauled in a bullhead catfish. Palese said several onlookers admired his catch telling him it was “the biggest bullhead they’d ever seen.”
Maryland Department of Natural Resources biologists and Conrad’s Seafood Market certified the bullhead catfish tipping the scales at 4.94 pounds, beating the 3.6-pound record held by Zelijko Korectic since 2007.