Kingfish are highly sensitive to water temperatures and prefer a magic window around 70 degrees. For this reason, they are not a frequent catch off the coast of New Jersey, where a big 67-pound, 7.2-ounce king mackerel caught this summer was recently certified by New Jersey Fish & Wildlife as a state record.
Angler Dominic Vricella and family were limping back from the tuna grounds on July 30 after losing one of their engines, according to an article in Sport Fishing. They decided they might as well troll spoons for Spanish mackerel or bonito on the way in. It must have come as a surprise when the big king hit a Clarkspoon about 5 miles offshore near Manasquan Inlet.
It took just 10 minutes to bring the fish to the gaff, and it’s a wonder they got it in at all on 20-pound braid.
Vricella’s big king is the largest caught from waters off New Jersey in 25 years. The previous record weighed 54 pounds and was caught back in 1998. The IGFA all-tackle world record weighed 93 pounds. It was caught off Puerto Rico in 1999.
For more New Jersey Records, visit the N.J. Fish and Wildlife website.