New Record Striper for Delawareby: theangler
Under the rules of the Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament, Smith's catch was measured and weighed using a certified scale at Old Inlet Bait & Tackle in Rehoboth Beach and then verified by Sr. Cpl. Douglas Messeck of DNREC's Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section. According to Nathan Rust, Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament director, the former state record of 51 pounds, 8 ounces had been in place since 1978.
Smith, who grew up in New Jersey fishing in the Long Beach Island area with his dad and younger brother, was enjoying a fishing weekend with friends when he cast his line at Delaware Seashore State Park. "I never set out to set a state record. I go fishing for the love of the outdoors, time with friends and the adventure," Smith said. "But I'm ecstatic about catching such a great fish."
Clark Evans, a surf fishing instructor with Old Inlet, described the challenges Smith faced in landing the record striper. "A striper is known for putting on a big first run, and surviving that first run was the first hurdle," Evans said. Using the right equipment including a circle hook and fray-resistant braided line instead of more fragile monofilament helped Smith's battle considerably, especially in the final struggle to wrestle the fish out of the surf. "He did everything right, and even then the odds were stacked against him. I told him, 'That's one in a million,'" Evans said.
For more information about the Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament, including rules and a list of state record holders, consult the 2012 Delaware Fishing Guide, call the Fisheries Section at 302-739-9914, or visit Sport Fish Tournament .
Division of Fish and Wildlife Director David Saveikis lauded two longtime partnerships that have helped with the recovery of striped bass. "This year we celebrated the 75th anniversary of Delaware's partnership from the federal Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program, which is a great model for how to accomplish cost-effective resource management funded by those who directly benefit from the resource - the anglers," Saveikis said. "Meanwhile, we also look forward to more signs of success from another longstanding partnership between our agency and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission on Delaware's fisheries management practices. This partnership brought striped bass back from a historic low to become a viable and healthy fishery."
Added: Tue Jan 08 2013