OCEAN CITY — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) this week confirmed the 266-pound-plus scalloped hammerhead that won the shark division in the 2012 White Marlin Open was indeed a new state record.
Angler Scott Cusick of Jackson, N.J., fishing aboard the “Milling Around” during the White Marlin Open earlier this month landed the 266.8-pound scalloped hammerhead shark on Thursday during the tournament. The big hammerhead took over the top spot on the leaderboard, displacing the 126.5-pound mako weighed by angler Craig Dengler on the “Longfin” a day earlier and earned the top spot in the this year’s WMO shark division, earning $5,150 in prize money.
The previous scalloped hammerhead state record was also caught during the White Marlin Open in 2009. Angler Jamie Gill, fishing aboard the “Lisa”, caught a 254 pounder.
Cusick and the “Milling Around” crew were fishing aboard the 50-foot Viking in search of billfish and tuna when they hooked up the record shark. The “Milling Around” was fishing near a pod of whales over the Washington Canyon about 60 miles off the coast of Ocean City when they hooked the new record shark. Cusick said the fish put up a tough, tuna-like fight for about 45 minutes, stripping the 100-pound-test line down to the backing on the reel.
“We were sure it was a big-eye tuna,” he said. “We had been marking tuna on the sonar and the boats nearby were hooked up fighting big-eyes. It wasn’t until we saw the color and length of the fish that we knew it was a shark.”