Young Earl Jenkins IV has been fishing since he could stand up by himself according to his proud father. At the age of 3-1/2 years old our little fisherman appears to be our youngest fisherman in Maryland to ever set a state record. Earl was fishing with his dad at a favorite farm pond near where they live in Thurmont, Maryland on March 17th casting a small chartreuse grub lure with his ultra-light spinning outfit. Something grabbed it and began to put up quite a tussle but Earl was able to bring it to shore. Earl’s catch was a 1lb, 8oz rock bass that measured 12” long; the largest ever registered in Maryland. Rock bass or Redeye as they are often called are a member of the sunfish family and Earl’s rock bass was about as big as they get. His dad kept it alive in an ice chest filled with water till they could get it weighed on a certified scale. They then decided to keep it alive in the live well of the family fishing boat overnight and transported it to the Bass Pro Shop aquarium the following day; where it is hoped to be put on display.
Our young fisherman could not have had a better teacher than his dad in regards to fishing for rock bass since his dad held the previous state record at 1lb, 4.1 oz caught in the same Thurmont farm pond. The father mentioned that he had seen larger rock bass in the pond he fished when he submitted his own record in 2009. Father and son spend their time together fishing their local waters and a proud father also mentioned that his son caught his first smallmouth bass at the age of 2-1/2. Fisheries Service Director Thomas O’Connell stated; “This is just the type of family fishing relationships we are trying to promote at the Fisheries Service. Taking children fishing offers wonderful one on one time for parents and children that can build lasting relationships.”