Ocean City, MD – A Maryland angler, Chris Toner of Joppa, MD, has set a new Atlantic Division state record with a 72 pound cobia. The catch eclipsed the previous record of 67 pounds, 12 ounces set in 2007 by Mike Horsey.
“This record is evidence of the great fishing opportunities Maryland has to offer,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “You never know what surprises you will come across while enjoying a day of fishing in Maryland’s waters.”
Chris and friends were aboard the charter boat “Fish Finder,” captained by Mark Sampson, who specializes in shark charters. The group was catch and release fishing at the Great Gull Shoal for sharks when the cobia appeared in the chum slick. The captain was prepared for such an encounter and had a baited rod ready for Chris Toner. The fight was on and was touch and go for a while as fishing line quickly disappeared off the fishing reel to a point where there was little left.
“The cobia eventually was brought into the boat and when it hit the certified scale at the Ocean City Fishing Center, everyone realized that this was a very special fish,” said Keith Lockwood, of DNR’s Fisheries Service.
The catch was verified by Fisheries biologist Steve Doctor and will be listed as the new state record for the Atlantic Division of the Maryland in the Maryland Sport fish Tournament records.
The 2009 Maryland Fishing Challenge is a great opportunity to search for another very special fish – Diamond Jim! Designed to promote recreational fishing in Maryland, recognize angler efforts and inspire environmental stewardship, the challenge began Friday, May 29th and runs through Labor Day, September 7, 2009. As of today, Diamond Jim is worth $25,000, and more than 145 imposters are still on the loose, which are worth $500 each if caught. To learn more about the 2009 Maryland Fishing Challenge, visit http://dnr.maryland.gov/fishingchallenge/.