Angler Don Whittington of Bivalve reeled in the state’s first-ever record tripletail off the coast of Ocean City. The 11-pound, 25.25-inch long fish was caught Oct.19 near Baltimore Canyon in the Atlantic Ocean.
After about two hours fishing from his son’s boat for tuna and common dolphin, Whittington saw something unusual in the water.
“We knew what it was – we’ve seen small ones all summer but after I pulled that one in I was like, ‘wow,’” Whittington said.
The tripletail can be found from the tropical waters of Florida upward to southern New England in the summer months.
Staff of Bahia Marina in Ocean City certified the tripletail’s weight. A Maryland Department of Natural Resources biologist certified the species, and the state for the first time recognized the triple tail in its Atlantic Division for state records.
“While tripletails aren’t too unusual off the coast of Maryland, the size of this one really creates a great benchmark for a new record catch,” Recreational Fishing and Outreach Coordinator Erik Zlokovitz said.
The department 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 department suggests fish be immersed in ice water to preserve weight until it can be checked, confirmed, and certified.