Record White Hake Landed Off Resort Coast

Record White Hake Landed Off Resort Coast
Angler Brian Gay of Millsboro last week was recognized by the DNR for landing this new state record white hake while fishing off the coast of Ocean City. Submitted photo

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.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

Alternative Text

Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.