A 26-pound, 15.6-ounce almaco jack caught off Morehead City, North Carolina in November was recently certified as a new state record. It is the first almaco ever on the North Carolina record books, as the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries established a new species category for the catch.
The angler, Matt Frattasio, of Massachusetts, was fishing with Capt. Terry Nugent of Riptide Charters in about 80 feet of water near the D wreck off Morehead City. He landed the fish on live menhaden using 50-pound braid on a Daiwa Saltist MQ 14000 reel and a Hogy Tuna jigging rod. Frattasio’s fish measured 36.4 inches fork length and had a 26-inch girth.
“After slamming Albies inshore all morning, Capt. Terry made the decision to hit deeper water off a wreck and magic happened,” the angler told Fox News Digital. “After a few solid amber jacks, we hooked into the almaco. Without captain’s extensive knowledge, we would’ve released it. Big shoutout to my buddy Bob Savastano for taking me on this trip.”
Almaco jack are a wide-ranging species that inhabit tropical and temperate seas worldwide, according to a species profile from the University of Florida. Although they are delicious, they are seldom targeted as a game fish, and are widely considered welcome bycatch.
Georgia and Florida’s state records stand at 7-pounds 0.7-ounce, and 35-pounds 9-ounces, respectively. The IGFA all-tackle world record weighed 136 pounds. It was caught off Japan in 2020.