Delaware State Record 21.8-pound Blueline Tilefish Confirmed

Delaware state record 21.8-pound blueline tilefish caught in Norfolk Canyon by Townsend angler

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Jesse Kegley with his 21.8 pound blueline tilefish … photo courtesy of Lewes Harbor Marina

LEWES (July 28, 2015) – DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife has confirmed a new state record in the Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament: a 21.8-pound blueline tilefish caught on July 25 in the Atlantic Ocean’s Norfolk Canyon, some 70 miles offshore. The catch eclipses the previous state record blueline tilefish, caught just over a month ago in Baltimore Canyon, by two pounds.

Jesse Kegley of Townsend caught the new record 36.5-inch-long blueline tilefish aboard the charter boat Patient Lady with Capt. John Schneider at the helm. The record catch was initially confirmed at Lewes Harbour Marina and then verified by Officer Brooke Africa, DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police. 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.

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Jesse Kegley’s 21.8 pound Blueline Tile fish … photo courtesy of Lewes Harbor Marina
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Relatively new to the tournament, blueline tilefish are becoming quite popular among salt water anglers. “Off-shore fishing is where the action is,” said Garry Glanden, Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament director, Division of Fish & Wildlife. “With the popularity growing for tilefish, I would not be surprised if the record is broken again this year.”

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 40 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. Spawning occurs from May to October, with females laying more than 4 million free-floating eggs.

The increasing popularity and harvest of blueline tilefish have prompted federal and state agencies, including the Division of Fish & Wildlife, to establish fishery conservation measures to manage the fishery at a sustainable level. For more on this, click on the recent DNREC press release, Delaware joins National Marine Fisheries Service taking action for blueline tilefish.

For more information on the Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament, click on 2015 Delaware Fishing Guide. A print version of the guide is available at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk in the Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, and from license agents throughout the state.

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