A Delaware man set a new state record during a recent fishing tournament.
William Fintel, of Lewes, caught a 19.7 pound blueline tilefish on June 19 during the Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament. The tilefish was 33 inches long and was caught in the Atlantic Ocean’s Baltimore Canyon, some 65 miles offshore.
The record catch was initially confirmed at Lewes Harbour Marina and then verified by Officer Adam Roark, Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police.
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The catch is recognized as a state record since the fish was caught aboard a boat that left from and returned to a Delaware port.
Relatively new to the tournament, blueline tilefish are becoming quite popular among salt water anglers.
“Other blueline tilefish have been submitted to the tournament,” said Garry Glanden, Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament director, Division of Fish & Wildlife. “However, this is the first one to be officially verified by DNREC personnel. So now anglers have something to aim for.”
Blueline tilefish are slow-growing, deep-water dwellers that are targeted by both recreational and commercial fisheries as a foodfish. The species may grow up to 35 inches long and live up to 43 years, feeding on bottom creatures such as crabs, shrimp, snails, worms, sea urchins and small fish and sharing habitat with groupers and snappers.
The increasing popularity and harvest of blueline tilefish have prompted federal and state agencies, including the Delaware Division of Fish & Wildlife, to propose fishery conservation measures to manage the fishery at a sustainable level.
For more information on the Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament, click on 2015 Delaware Fishing Guide.