A Massachusetts man fishing off North Carolina has established a state record for a species that marine biologists don’t know much about, according to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council.
Matt Frattasio caught the 26-pound, 15.6-ounce almaco jack “near the D wreck off Morehead City on Nov. 8,” the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries reported in a news release.
“There was no previous state record in North Carolina. Georgia and Florida’s state records stand at 7-pounds 0.7-ounce, and 35-pounds 9-ounces, respectively,” the division said.
Frattasio, who lives in Halifax, Massachusetts, caught the fish while aboard a Riptide Charters vessel in around 80 feet of water. He was baiting with live menhaden on a Hogy Tuna jigging rod, officials said.
The fish measured 36.4 inches from its nose to the fork in the tail and had a 26-inch girth, officials said. It was weighed at the Division of Marine Fisheries Headquarters in Morehead City.
Riptide Charters reports “seas were rough” during the morning outing, but the anglers “found tons of nice albies just frothing on Bay Anchovy balls,” resulting in 50 being caught before 10 a.m.
“Then we ran offshore and pounded several dozen Amberjack (and) Matt landed one of the largest almaco jacks I’ve seen,” the charter wrote in a Nov. 8 Facebook post.
Almaco jack reach lengths of about 38 inches and can weigh as much as 55 pounds, according to South Atlantic Fishery Management Council.
They are typically caught in deeper waters of the western Atlantic (rarely north of the Carolinas) “and little is known of their life history,” the council says.