New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife Back to State of NJ Homepage Back to Fish and Wildlife Homepage Back to DEP Homepage 

Aug. 4, 2003


The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Fish and Wildlife has certified a new state record thresher shark taken June 14 at the 28-Mile Wreck off Cape May. Louis Riemer Jr. of Turnersville caught the 614-pound thresher shark.

The shark weighed 25 pounds more than the previous record taken two miles southeast of Monster Ledge in 2002.

Riemer was chum drifting when he caught the record shark on 80-pound test line using a bluefish for bait. The fish measured 16 feet, 5.5 inches in length with a 67.5-inch girth.

Thresher sharks are found in the Atlantic from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to Florida. This species has an enormously long tail fin with the upper lobe being a little longer than the head and body of the fish together. It is curved like the blade of a scythe with the contrasting lower lobe of the tail not much longer than the pelvic fin. Threshers are stout-bodied sharks with short snouts and blunt, rounded noses. Considered harmless to humans, the teeth are small and smooth edged. The color ranges from dark brown to blue-slate to black with a white belly. It is a deep-water species and feeds mainly on small schooling fishes such as bluefish, menhaden and mackerel, which it stuns with blows from its powerful tail.

The Record Fish Program honors the largest 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, specifically the Certificate of Inspection/Test Report and Registration Certificate issued by the New Jersey Office of Weights and Measures as well as a weighmaster's signature are necessary. Other rules apply.

For for a complete list of state record fish, more information or to download an application, visit the division's website at

Back to Fish and Wildlife Homepage Back to NJ State Homepage Back to NJ DEP Homepage