November 25, 2002
According to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Fish and Wildlife, a new state record ling, also known as a red hake, was caught off Brielle on September 18. Natalie Jones of Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania caught an 11 pound, 1 ounce ling that weighed 2 pounds, 5 ounces more than the previous record taken off Belmar in 1990.
Jones was bottom fishing from the party boat Paramount when she caught the record ling on 40-pound test line using clams for bait. The fish measured 29 inches in length with a 21-inch girth. An application for world record status is also pending with the International Game Fish Association.
The red hake can be found from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to North Carolina. They migrate in response to seasonal changes in water temperature, moving into shallower waters to spawn in spring and summer and offshore to deeper waters in winter.
The Record Fish Program honors the largest specimen of each species of fish caught in the State. It revolves around a specific list of eligible freshwater and saltwater species, and is based on weight alone (there are no line classes). Scale certification documentation and a weighmaster's signature are necessary. Other rules apply. For more information or to request an application, call 609-633-7768. Visit the Division's website at www.njfishandwildlife.com for a complete list of state record fish.