Hake Approved as New World Standard
Virginia angler Johnny Boyd is now officially a world-record holder after the International Game Fish Association approved his Carolina hake as the All-Tackle World Record. His catch also establishes the initial world record for the species. Boyd’s hake weighed five pounds, 10 ounces when checked in by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission scales.
The fish was also examined at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) to confirm the species identification. Boyd donated his record fish to VIMS to be added to their fish collection.
Boyd was fishing out of Virginia Beach aboard the Healthy Grin, skippered by PropTalk contributor Dr. Ken Neill. It is the 11th All-Tackle World Record caught on the Healthy Grin. Boyd landed the world’s largest Carolina hake February 1, using a custom rod matched with an Avet reel loaded with 65-pound PowerPro. The fish, which had a 15-inch girth, ate a crab.
Huk Big Fish Classic Set for July 24-26
Building on last year’s success, organizers and sponsors of the second annual Huk Big Fish Classic will be back in Ocean City, MD, at Talbot Street Pier July 24-26. At last summer’s inaugural event more than $92,000 was paid out for the heaviest fish pulled from the Atlantic.
The tournament format has a flexible 32-hour continuous fishing “time slot,” meaning fishing teams can come and go. Tournament director Brian Roberts says that allows anglers to fish favorable to the weather, take advantage of a hot bite, and allow for work schedules.
“Teams have more time to fish during the times when fish bite, as they can fish early in the morning, late in the evening, or fish all night long,” says Roberts. “Teams can fish the way they want, share the rod while catching the fish, and fish for any species with the chance to win big money while still having fun!”
Also new for 2015 is the addition of title sponsor Huk Performance Fishing Apparel (hukgear.com). Huk will also highlight the tournament on its new television show, “Money Fish,” airing on the Sportsman Channel. The Huk Big Fish Classic is located at 311 Talbot Street in Ocean City, MD. The final registration and the Captain’s Meeting take place on Thursday, July 23. Weigh-ins are free for adults and children, and scales open on Friday July 24 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday July 25 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.; and on Sunday July 26 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, contact Tournament Director Brian Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org or (410) 213-0325. bigfishclassic.com
Big Money and Big Rock at Championship on the Chesapeake
The bite turned on just in time for the 2500 anglers, spread out on 465 boats, who took part in the Maryland Saltwater Sportfishing Association’s (MSSA) Championship on the Chesapeake rockfish tournament, held May 1-3.
Garn Godwin set a new MSSA tournament record for the largest rockfish, weighing in a 52-inch, 53.3-pound striper that earned him $65,437.
Find complete results at mssa.net/standings-results
Top Five Rockfish (Amateur Division)
1. Garn Godwin 53.3 lbs., 52”
2. Bob Arvey 50.2 lbs., 49”
3. Kevin Tracey 47.4 lbs., 49”
4. James Snyder 46.05 lbs., 50”
5. Roger Grissom 45.9 lbs., 47”
Top Money (Amateur Division)
1. Garn Godwin $65,437.00
2. James Snyder $22,167.00
3. Andrew Wendell $10,437.00
4. Roger Grissom $9002.00
5. Rick Schaffer $7755.00
MSSA Annapolis Spring Tournament
In related MSSA news, the Annapolis Chapter hosted its Spring Rockfish Tournament to benefit the EVAN Foundation. Edgewater angler Dale Dirks, one of the driving forces behind the fundraiser, said tournament proceeds top $10,000. All monies go to the EVAN Foundation, which was founded by Wendy and Gavin Lindberg after they lost their only son Evan at age seven to neuroblastoma, a deadly pediatric cancer.
1. Andrew Wendell 47”
2. John Weber 45.25”
3. Chris Rosenthal 44.5”
1. Robin Zagalsky 39.5”
1. Darin Zagalsky 40.5”
2. Brian Zagalsky 38.5”
3. Will Muscatello 38.25”
Crab Survey Shows Slight Uptick
Last summer, chicken neckers had a rough go of it trying to fill a bushel basket of the iconic tasty beautiful swimmers. If the 2015 blue crab dredge survey proves accurate, however, sport crabbers may enjoy a slightly better season.
From December through March, researchers sampled 1500 randomly selected sites throughout the crabs’ Chesapeake range. Last month, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) released survey results that showed an increase, compared to last year, in the abundance of spawning-age females. DNR reported 101 million sooks (adult females). Although that’s an encouraging bump, it is still well below peak abundances seen in 2010 and 2011 and below the established target level.
Juvenile crabs also showed a positive trend, increasing 35 percent from 2014. Young crabs more than doubled from the record low in 2013, making the 2015 juvenile abundance of 269 million crabs slightly above the 26-year average of 261 million. A second harsh winter has again contributed to crab mortality, killing an estimated 19 percent of adult crabs this past winter.
“Despite the harsh winter temperatures, we are pleased that crab numbers increased,” said DNR secretary Mark Belton. “This is good news for the crabs and for Marylanders who enjoy them all summer long.” Officials from fishery agencies in Maryland and Virginia as well as the Potomac River Fisheries Commission pledged to continue their collaborative management efforts of this culturally and economically important species.
by Capt. Chris D. Dollar