ESSEX — A Chester boy reeled in the largest fish in the 12th annual Back River Restoration Committee Rockfish Tournament.

Gabriel Riggs, 12, was fishing with his dad Todd on their boat Bait Me Sept. 7; it was their second fishing tournament together, and they hit their first big fish early in the morning.

“Gabriel stepped forward and grabbed that rod and reeled in a whopping 36 5/8 inch striper,” Riggs said.

The Bait Me took first place in the tournament, and Gabriel took first place in the youth angler division for his second fish. They were the first sportsman boat to win a second purse in the tournament.

“Our first place fish was the largest fish ever caught in the tournament’s history, according to BRRC coordinator Lary Farinetti,” Riggs said.

The fish weighed close to 15 pounds. “It was definitely a monster.”

Gabriel donated his winnings back to BRRC, a non-profit organization that works to save the Bay. He is a seventh-grader at Stevensville Middle School. His mom is Dahye Riggs.

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