Jeff Wright of Cambridge has broken a 34-year-old Maryland state fishing record in the Atlantic Division for a common dolphinfish, or mahi mahi. Wright caught the 72.8-pound fish July 28 off the coast of Ocean City.
Wright was aboard a boat above Poor Man’s Canyon practicing with friends for the upcoming White Marlin Open when his rod “went crazy” shortly after noon.
“It literally took 25 minutes to get this in,” Wright said. “I had to play it until it finally gave up.”
A Maryland Department of Natural Resources biologist identified the species as common dolphinfish — Coryphaena hippurus — and its weight was certified by Sunset Marina in Ocean City. Wright’s catch beat the existing record held by Kim Lawson, who reeled in a 67.8-pound common dolphinfish in July 1985.
“It’s really exciting to see anglers like Wright break records that have been on the books for decades,” Recreational Fishing Outreach Coordinator Erik Zlokovitz said. “It just shows that with a little patience you could find yourself a part of Maryland’s angling history.”
The department maintains state records for sport fish in four divisions – Atlantic, Chesapeake, Nontidal, and Invasive – and awards plaques to anglers who achieve record catches. Fish caught from privately-owned, fee-fishing waters are ineligible for consideration.
Anglers who think they have a potential record catch should download and fill out a state record application and call 443-569-1381 or 410-260-8325. The department suggests fish be immersed in ice water to preserve weight until it can be checked, confirmed, and certified.