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.