New State Record For Blueline Tilefish
Brendan Hoffman, 31, of Seaford, Delaware, caught a 17-pound, seven-ounce blueline tilefish on October 9, setting the State record. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) confirmed the catch, naming Hoffman the first blueline tilefish record holder since the species was added to the State's angler award list this year.
"We had never seen a blueline tilefish that big on the boat or in photos, so we weighed it on the boat scale," said Hoffman. "It was over 17 pounds, so we took it back to the certified scale at Sunset Provisions where it tipped the scale at 17 pounds, seven ounces."
Hoffman and his party launched their 33-foot HydraSport from Ocean City to make the 60-mile run to the Baltimore Canyon in search of tuna, dolphin and a white marlin or two. After about five hours of trolling without a sign of billfish or tunas, they decided they should change their strategy and make good use of the flat of butterfish bait they had brought.
"We weren't rigged or prepared for bottom fishing," said Hoffman. "So, we scrounged around for any sinkers we could find to get the baits down 200 feet to the bottom. We found some inline sinkers and tied them together to drop the baits over a likely spot on the western edge of the Canyon."
On the first drift, Hoffman's friend felt a hit on his line and reeled in a nice blueline tilefish. On the second drift, the big one took Hoffman's bait.
Weigh master Stan Hansen at Sunset Provisions, an official DNR Angler Award Center, confirmed the weight. DNR biologist Keith Lockwood examined the 33 ¼-inch fish and confirmed the species to complete the certification process for the record.
"Over the last decade, anglers have discovered the potential for great bottom fishing for species such as black bellied rose fish, golden tile and blueline tile, as a supplement to other blue water possibilities," said Steve Doctor, DNR Atlantic Coast Program biologist and current golden tilefish state record holder. "It's a great mid-date alternative to pelagic options that are often hard to find when the sun is high."
The current all-tackle blueline tilefish world record is 20-pounds, four-ounces for a fish caught in 2009 over the Norfolk Canyon off of the Virginia Coast.
For information on Maryland fishing records, the Maryland Angler Award program and the Maryland Fishing Challenge, visit dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/challenge/.
Keep up with the Maryland Fisheries Service by following @MDDNRFISH on Twitter.
Share your fishing success on the DNR Angler's Log at dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/fishingreport.