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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

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