White Marlin Open Practice Run Results In State-Record Mahi

White Marlin Open Practice Run Results In State-Record Mahi
Angler Jeff Wright is pictured with his record catch and friends. Submitted Photo

OCEAN CITY — A decades-old Maryland state record for common dolphinfish, or mahi, was obliterated last weekend when a Cambridge man landed a nearly 73-pouunder off the coast of Ocean City.

Angler Jeff Wright of Cambridge was fishing with friends in the Poor Man’s Canyon last Sunday when he hooked the 72.8-pound mahi. According to Wright, he and the crew on the boat were doing some practice fishing in advance of next week’s White Marlin Open when the rod “went crazy” shortly after noon.

“It literally took 25 minutes to get this in,” he said this week. “I had to play it until it finally gave up.”

The huge mahi was weighed at Sunset Marina and topped out at 72.8 pounds. A Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) biologist identified it as a common dolphinfish, more commonly known as mahi mahi, and confirmed this week it was indeed a new Maryland state record. The old record, a 67.8-pounder caught by angler Kim Lawson in July 1985, stood for 34 years.

“It’s really exciting to see anglers like Wright break records that have been on the books for decades,” said DNR recreational fishing outreach coordinator Erik Zlokovitz. “It just shows that with a little patience, you could find yourself part of Maryland’s angling history.”

The DNR maintains state records for sport fish in four divisions including Atlantic, Chesapeake, Nontidal and Invasive, and awards plaques to anglers who achieve record catches. Fish caught from privately-owned, fee-fishing waters are not eligible for consideration.

Anglers who think they have a potential record catch should download and fill out a state record application and call 443-569-1381 or 410-260-8325. The DNR suggests a potential record-breaker should be immersed in ice water to preserve its weight until it can be checked, confirmed and certified.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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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.