Anglers Set Records in New Florida Length Category

Julia Bernstein, 12, of Miami, had a record-setting day fishing off Key West on Jan. 5. She set two new state records in a day by catching a 20-pound, 15-ounce cobia and a 1-pound, 8-ounce mangrove snapper while fishing with Capt. Dale Bittner.

Bernstein’s records were the first two fish certified in Florida’s new saltwater record categories, which were launched in January. They both set the bar in the new Youth All-Tackle Weight category. Florida is also now recognizing state records for Youth and Adult Length Categories.

“‘Are those all cobia?’ I couldn’t believe it, as we pulled up to the wreck, there was a dark cloud on the surface of the ocean. Sure enough, it was a large school of hungry cobia, and they were ready to eat!” Bernstein quickly hooked up to two smaller fish, but in her words, “Third time was the charm, it was an even larger cobia! We had a great afternoon, we caught six fish from that school, one of which became the Florida state record and one of which is a pending IGFA Junior Record.”
Bernstein already holds 11 IGFA world records.

To finish the day, they made one last stop, where Bernstein hooked up with her record mango.
“I worked hard to get it off the bottom and then reeled as fast as I could. Good thing I did, turned out to be a state record mangrove snapper!” she said.

Joseph Ingold set the bar with for the redfish length state record with an impressive 36.25-inch red in he caught from a Kayak in Panama City in February. His story is of a slow day that turned exciting in a hurry.

“About halfway down I hadn’t gotten a single hit, so I cast my paddletail and let it sink to the bottom while I grabbed a new lure to tie on. Once I got my new lure ready, I started to reel in my paddletail to switch it out,” he said. “About five seconds after I started to reel it back in, the redfish hit.”
Ingold thought he had snagged the bottom, but then the fish began to run.

“I got super excited and loosened up my drag at that point. I really didn’t want to break her off since I was only using 10-pound test,” he said. “When I landed the fish, I honestly didn’t even think about submitting it for the new length record. I actively participate in the Catch a Florida Memory programs, so I just took pictures for myself and for the Reel Big Fish program. After I submitted for a Reel Big Fish, I was curious if anyone had submitted for the new length record and, to my surprise, it was still vacant. So, I took all the pictures I had and put in my application.”

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