Skip to main content

Saltwater State Fishing Records Confirmed in N.Y.

State approves new records for Atlantic bonito and sheepshead.

Saltwater State Fishing Records Confirmed in N.Y.

These catches by James Torborg of Atlantic Beach (sheepshead) and Matthew Kessinger of Oceanside (Atlantic bonito) were certified as state records in New York. (Photos courtesy NY DEC)

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation confirmed two state saltwater fishing records caught during the fall and winter of 2020.

In November, Matthew Kessinger of Oceanside, N.Y., set the state record for Atlantic bonito with a 13.45-pounder caught off the Atlantic Beach Artificial Reef. In September, James Torborg of Atlantic Beach broke the record for sheepshead with a 13.9-pounder caught in Reynolds Channel.

"From the Atlantic Ocean to coastal bays and tidal rivers, New York's marine waters offer exceptional saltwater fishing opportunities and I'm excited to congratulate Matthew Kessinger and James Torborg for setting these new state records for bonito and sheepshead," (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos said in a news release on the two catches. "It is particularly exciting that the record bonito was caught off one of New York's recently expanded artificial reefs, proving that Governor Cuomo's investments in improving water quality and enhancing marine habitats are benefiting New York's fisheries and recreational fishing community.”

Kessinger's record bonito beat the previous record of 12.49 pounds set by Angelo Peluso in 2003. The state DEC added that last fall Atlantic Beach Reef received 16 rail cars donated by Wells Fargo Rail Corporation to New York State as part of Governor Cuomo's ongoing artificial reef initiative.


Atlantic bonito are largely pelagic species living mostly in the open ocean. These fish migrate to New York's marine waters during the summer and typically start to swim south through the fall.


Torborg’s sheepshead broke the previous record of 13.36 pounds caught in 2016 by Peter Kruczko.

New York Fishing Resources

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Sometimes you have to fish a bait that allows you to cover a lot of water efficiently. When you're on the search for bass that have moved into deeper water off the bank and away from obvious holding spots, a swimbait can locate them.
Fishing

On the Search with Swimbaits

One of the best imitations of a wounded baitfish is the soft-plastic jerkbait, or fluke. A fluke darting just beneath the surface can be too much for a bass to resist. Rig it and fish it according to water conditions and cover to make this great bait even more effective.
Fishing

Fun with Flukes

There are three models in SPRO's Outsider crankbait series: 55 (runs 3-4 feet), 60 (7-9) and 80 (19-21). Professional bass angler Jonathan Kelley goes over the specifics at ICAST 2022 in Orlando.
Fishing

SPRO's New Outsider Crankbait Series: First Look

Professional bass angler Jonathan Kelley highlights the features of SPRO's new lures at ICAST 2022 in Orlando.
Gear

New Essential Series Spinnerbaits and Buzzbaits from SPRO

Syd Ribes with Sea Falcon highlights four new lures for saltwater fishing. At ICAST 2022 in Orlando.
Gear

New Lineup of Lures from Sea Falcon

Syd Ribes highlights two new saltwater lures from SPRO: Flutter Tail Shrimp and Cannon Ball Jig. At ICAST 2022 in Orlando.
Gear

New Saltwater Lures from SPRO

AFTCO's Matt Florentino highlights the features of the new Barricade cold-weather suit, a Best of Category winner at ICAST 2022 in Orlando. With Game & Fish's Adam Heggenstaller.
Gear

New from AFTCO: Barricade Cold Weather Tactical Gear

Three-time ICAST Best of Category winner Bubba covers it all with new knives set. With Bubba's Matt Kinamore and Game & Fish's  Adam Heggenstaller at ICAST 2022 in Orlando.
Gear

4-in-1 Bubba Multi Flex Cutlery Kit

The innovative landing net will weigh and measure your catch while it's still in the net. Best of Category winner at ICAST 2022. With Game & Fish's Adam Heggenstaller.
Gear

Award-Winning Frabill Witness Net 'Keeps You Honest'

Game & Fish Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Game & Fish stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now