Reel big fish: Record set for swordfish caught off Ocean City coast

Peter Schultz, second from left, and his team stand with the new Maryland record swordfish. (Courtesy Big Fish Classic)

The rod is mightier than the sword … fish.

A record has been set by an angler from Annapolis, Maryland, and he’s now officially recognized as the state record holder for swordfish after landing a 301 pounder off the coast of Ocean City.

Peter Schultz, 36, is the first record holder for the Atlantic division — Swordfish (Xiphias gladius).

He was participating in the Huk Big Fish Classic Tournament, landing the record-breaking catch roughly 50 miles offshore at Washington Canyon after an eight-hour battle with the fish.

According to a Maryland Department of Natural Resources release, Schultz and his team used dead eel on a circle hook, 50-foot reel with 65-pound braid line and a 25-foot, 150-pound leader.

Schultz said the aquatic critter was the “fish of a lifetime” and credited his team for the record catch.

“We put so much effort into this,” Schultz said in the release. “Everyone had a crucial role.”

The crew of Real One collected a check for $542,648 for its catch.

The swordfish weight was officially certified by Dave Hedges of M.R. Ducks — Talbot Street Pier. A Maryland Department of Natural Resources biologist confirmed the catch.

This video was posted to Facebook before the weight was confirmed.


The Department of Natural Resources maintains state records for sport fish in four divisions: Atlantic, Chesapeake, Nontidal and Invasive. It awards plaques to anglers who achieve record catches. Fish caught from privately owned, fee-fishing waters are ineligible for consideration.

If you think you’re got a record-breaker, download and fill out the state record application and call 443-569-1381 or 410-260-8325.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Writer/Editor for He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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