Go fish: 16-pound ‘monster’, nearly 5-pound bullhead catfish make Md. record books

Two fisherman have gotten into the Maryland record books with their latest catches.

Brian Gay of Millsboro, Delaware, caught a 16.71-pound, rare white hake. (Courtesy Maryland Department of Natural Resources)

A 16.71-pound, rare white hake caught off the coast of Ocean City was entered to the record books and an almost-5-pound bullhead catfish caught in Baltimore County broke previous records, according to Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources.

Brian Gay of Millsboro, Delaware, was fishing for sea bass near Poor Man’s Canyon when he felt a bite. Little did he know he had reeled in a “monster” fish.

A biologist with the Department of Natural Resources had to identify the species by counting the scales and examining the fish’s eye and jaw structure.

“I had no idea what it was,” Gay said, noting that he and his companions thought what they had was a world record red hake, which is similar in appearance.

Once identified, the white hake was added to the official record book.

“The species is recognized by several northern states as well as the International Game Fish Association so it should distinguished as a state record in Maryland, ” Recreational Fishing Outreach Coordinator Erik Zlokovitz said.

Baltimore City’s Nick Palese, 32, caught a 4.94-pound bullhead catfish. (Courtesy Maryland Department of Natural Resources)

This latest catch goes into the state record book in the Atlantic Ocean Division.

Baltimore City’s Nick Palese, 32, caught the biggest bullhead catfish to date on May 18 near Gunpowder Falls in Baltimore County.

He felt a bite and hauled a 4.94-pound bullhead catfish, beating the 3.6-pound record held by Zelijko Korectic since 2007. For his catch, Palese was awarded the Maryland state non-tidal fishing record.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has state records for sport fish in four divisions: Atlantic, Chesapeake, nontidal and invasive.

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