The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries recently certified the first state record Graysby Grouper (Cephalopholis cruentata).
George O. Dale of Wilmington caught the 2-pound, 3-ounce fish about 40 miles outside of Masonboro Inlet in about 100 feet deep water on May 31.
The fish measured 15 inches total length (from the tip of the snout to the tip of the compressed tail) and had an 18-inch girth.
He caught it with a heavy jigging rod and a Penn Slammer III reel using cut bait on a floral carbon rig with 80-pound braid.
To establish a state record fish, an angler must submit an application that is then reviewed by N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries staff. The fish must be exceptionally large for North Carolina waters and within a reasonable range of the world record.
The world record Graysby Grouper weighed 2 pounds and 8 ounces. It was caught off Texas in 1998.