OCEAN CITY — Jeff Wright of Cambridge has broken a 34-year-old Maryland state fishing record in the Atlantic Division for a common dolphinfish, or mahimahi. He caught the 72.8-pound fish July 28 off the coast of Ocean City.
Wright was aboard a boat above Poor Man’s Canyon practicing with friends for the upcoming White Marlin Open when his rod “went crazy” shortly after noon, according to a Department of Natural Resources news release.
“It literally took 25 minutes to get this in,” Wright said in the news release. “I had to play it until it finally gave up.”
A DNR biologist identified the species as common dolphinfish — Coryphaena hippurus — and its weight was certified by Sunset Marina in Ocean City.
Wright’s catch eclipsed the existing record held by Kim Lawson, who reeled in a 67.8-pound common dolphinfish in July 1985.
“It’s really exciting to see anglers like Wright break records that have been on the books for decades,” Recreational Fishing Outreach Coordinator Erik Zlokovitz said in the release. “It just shows that with a little patience you could find yourself a part of Maryland’s angling history.”
The DNR 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 DNR suggests fish be immersed in ice water to preserve weight until it can be checked, confirmed and certified.