OCEAN CITY- A rare white hake caught off the coast of Ocean City last week has been recognized by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) as a new state record for the species after a Millsboro man reeled in the nearly 17-pound whopper.
Brian Gay of Millsboro has been recognized by the DNR for a state fishing record in the Atlantic Ocean division after reeling in the rare white hake about 50 miles off the coast of Ocean City. Gay was fishing for sea bass in roughly 280 feet of water in the Poor Man’s Canyon about 50 miles off the coast of the resort when he hooked the white hake.
After several minutes, Gay’s monster fish finally came to the surface. He caught the 16.71-pound white hake using a “top and bottom” two-hook rig with a 16-ounce sinker and clam bait. Gay said later he had no idea what the fish was, but believed at first it could have been world-record red hake, which is similar in appearance.
Martin’s Fish House in West Ocean City certified the weight. To correctly identify the species, a DNR biologist carefully counted scaled and examined the fish’s eye and jaw structure. Once it was officially identified as a white hake, the DNR chose to officially add the species to its official record book.