July 26, 2012

State record gag grouper and queen trigger caught

The North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries officially certified two state record fish catches on Friday, July20.

A Jacksonville man broke the state queen trigger fish record with a 10 pound, 11 ounce fish caught July 3, and a Newport man established the state gag grouper record with a 43 pound, 8 ounce fish caught May 12.

Benjamin Peterson of Jacksonville caught the queen trigger 55 miles out from New River Inlet using squid as bait on a Shimano Trevela rod and Shimano Sarasota 18000 reel with Power Pro 65-pound test braided fishing line. The fish measured 23.5 inches fork length (tip of the nose to fork in the tail) and had a 22-inch girth.

Peterson’s queen trigger replaces the previous state record of 10 pounds, 5 ounces, set in 2011. The world record queen trigger was 14 pounds, 3 ounces, when it was caught in Mexico in 2009.

David Abernathy of Newport established the state record for gag grouper with a 43 pound, 8 ounce fish caught off Morehead City using a Roscoe jig on a Shimano Saragosa reel and Star Spinning rod with a 65-pound test fishing line. It measured 45 inches total length (tip of the nose to tip of the tail) and had a 31.5-inch girth.

North Carolina previously did not have a state record gag grouper. 

To establish a state record fish, the angler must submit an application that is then reviewed by N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries staff and a N.C. Saltwater Fishing Tournament Advisory Board. The fish must be exceptionally large for North Carolina waters and within a reasonable range of the world record.

The world record gag grouper was 80 pounds, 6 ounces, caught off of Florida in 1993.

For more information, contact Carole Willis, division sportfishing specialist, at 252-808-8081 or [email protected].

Download photos of Peterson and Abernathy with their catches at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/2012-nr-072412-photos.

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