A 20-pound, 10-ounce blueline tilefish caught June 28, 2009 by Kenneth Bowe of Chester, Virginia has been certified as the new Virginia state record for the species by the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament. The record-setting blueline bested the existing state record of 20 pounds, 4 ounces set by David Akridge of Virginia Beach.
Bowe made his record catch in approximately 400 feet of water near the Norfolk Canyon while fishing aboard a 30-foot private boat, skippered by Michael Adkins. The fish had a total length of 31 inches and a girth of 24-3/4 inches. The record fish was caught on a simple bottom rig baited with a combination of squid and ballyhoo. Bowe used a Shimano Trevala rod, mated with a Shimano Torium 20 reel spooled with 65-pound Power Pro braided line. Two other blueline tilefish in excess of 20 pounds were boated on the same trip.
Blueline tilefish was added to the list of species eligible for state record recognition by the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament Committee at their fall meeting in 2006 and carried an initial qualifying weight of 17-1/2 pounds. Doug Deese of Seaford registered Virginia's first qualifying blueline tilefish, at 18 pounds, 10 ounces, on March 10, 2007. Deese's record was short-lived, as Rick Wineman boated a 19-pound, 14-ounce tilefish less than three weeks later. Wineman's record stood for nearly two years, as Akridge boated a 20-pound, 4-ounce blueline March 19 of this year.
For more information, contact Lewis S. Gillingham, Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament, 2600 Washington Avenue, Third Floor, Newport News, VA 23607, (757) 491-5160, firstname.lastname@example.org