‘Mind-blowing experience’: New record set for swordfish hooked off Ocean City shore

Jacob Bertonazzi, second from left, stands with his record swordfish. (Courtesy of Gary Tyler)

It happened again.

The Maryland swordfish record was re-broken on Friday, just two weeks after an Anne Arundel County man broke the previous state record on July 23 with a 301-pound catch.

The new swordfish record, set by Jake Bertonazzi, blew past the earlier bench mark and weighed in at 318.5 pounds.

The New Jersey angler (a person who fishes with a rod and line) caught this behemoth 60 miles off the shores of Poor Man’s Canyon in Ocean City, Maryland.

While competing in the White Marlin Open, Bertonazzi had been dropping his line with squid for days and had little luck.

“We were having a slow week … not having anything,” Bertonazzi said in a news release. “We had 15 minutes before the end of the tournament when it started taking (the bait).”

With minutes to spare in the tournament, Bertonazzi hooked the nearly 320-pound swordfish — Xiphias gladius — and spent two hours reeling it in.

It was a “mind-blowing experience,” Bertonazzi said.

White Marlin Open weighmaster Alex Davis certified the record broadbill after the crew of Jersey Boy returned with its haul. A Maryland Department of Natural Resources biologist also confirmed the catch.

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.

Luke Garrett

Luke Garrett is a D.C. native dedicated to journalism. He is a reporter and the creator, host and producer of the original WTOP podcast, “DMV Download.” The podcast debuted in 2022. On the show, Garrett takes a weekly look at the biggest stories and ideas in the D.C. region.

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