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  #1  
Old 08-22-2007, 09:15 AM
bassfishinn bassfishinn is offline
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Default New World Record Croaker

Seems like a day of record fish to be caught. Check out this croaker...it looks like a drum. Did someone else post this? If not, it just shattered the current record.

Norman Jenkins has given new meaning to catching a "horse" croaker.

On Friday, the angler from Portsmouth caught one that weighed 8 pounds, 11 ounces from the deep waters around Old Point Comfort at the southern tip of Mathews County. The fish is believed to be the biggest croaker ever caught - in a net or on rod and reel.

According to area headboat and fishing pier operators, more Atlantic croaker are caught from Virginia waters during the summer than any other species.

"Good Lord, that's a big croaker," Virginia Beach captain Skip Feller said. "We're catching a lot of croaker right now, but nothing like that."

The species is a summer mainstay because of its abundance and taste. Those that weigh 2 pounds or more are affectionately called horses. Jenkins' fish was more like a Clydesdale. And it shattered world and state records.

The International Game Fish Association all-tackle world record for the species was 5 pounds, 8 ounces. It was caught in 2000 off the coast of Alabama.

The previous Virginia record weighed 5 ounces more, but it was caught in 1982, before the IGFA recognized the species for world record consideration.

The fish gets its name for the deep croaking sound it makes. The average croaker is 12 inches long and about 1-1/2 pounds.

A 3-pounder is large enough to earn an award from the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament. But fish topping 4 pounds are a rarity throughout the species' range.

The species rarely lives past five years but can survive up to nine, according to Jon Lucy, a marine recreation specialist with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.

"With all the people who bottom-fish along the coast and in the Gulf, with all that activity, for there not to be more big croaker caught is an amazement," Lucy said. "That's what makes this particular fish so unusual."

The easy-to-catch bottom feeder is a mainstay for many Virginia anglers.

"Spot and croaker are our bread and butter," said Brock Baskette, a bait shop employee at the Ocean View Fishing Pier in Norfolk.

"We've been catching them pretty good lately. We even had a 4-1/2 -pounder a couple of days ago.

"But an 8-pounder? Geesh!"

Jenkins was flounder fishing with his lifelong friend, Sammy Brooks, also of Portsmouth.

"We thought it was a puppy drum or something by the way it was fighting," said Jenkins, a 63-year-old retired railroad employee. "When we got it close to the net, Sammy thought it was a small black drum."

When the two measured the grunting fish at whopping 28 inches, they realized they had a real horse on their hands.

"He started croaking like crazy, louder than most croaker you catch," said Jenkins, who added that the fish was his first award-winning fish. "We started realizing it was a croaker.

"One heck of a big croaker."

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  #2  
Old 08-22-2007, 09:34 AM
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Striperjim Striperjim is offline
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Default Re: New World Record Croaker

Holy *%*#

We dont get them here up north but to give some perspective the croaker I've caught in the past were about the size of my hand.
Congratulations to Mr. jenkins
Thanks for posting it bassfishin and welcome to the board.

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  #3  
Old 08-22-2007, 10:22 AM
bassfishinn bassfishinn is offline
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Default Re: New World Record Croaker

I caught about a 2 1/2 to 3 lbs last fall on the Delaware Bay by the 14 foot Light.
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Old 08-22-2007, 06:21 PM
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Default Re: New World Record Croaker

Wow. that thing is huge. nice fish.
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Old 08-22-2007, 09:26 PM
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Default Re: New World Record Croaker

Not taking anything away from the catch, it's an awesome fish, but it's too bad he ruined the perspective of the picture by holding the fish as far in front of him as possible. Hard to say how big it really looks when you do that.

Remember, a picture is only 2D not 3D. If you want the fish to look big without blowing the reality aspect of the shot (like that guy did with the croaker) take the picture from a low angle looking up and do it from as close as you can while keeping the whole subject in the frame. You can hold the fish close and get a real perspective and still make the fish look large.

Example, this first fish is 28# but looks bigger due to the low perspective.
The fish in the second photo is actually bigger at 30# but doesn't look nearly as big as the first fish, again it's all about the perspective.

The fish in the third picture I put up to show what not to do. This fish is bigger then any of them but it sat all night in a cooler with ice and is bent like a comma. In the picture the fact that the fish is bent in half doesn't really show very well and throws the whole thing off.

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Old 08-24-2007, 01:35 PM
bassfishinn bassfishinn is offline
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Default Re: New World Record Croaker

I've done the same thing on purpose. Check out this 4 lbs bass...looks bigger because I have my arms extended out. I believe the bass was 4 & 1/4 or so.
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  #7  
Old 08-24-2007, 02:03 PM
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Default Re: New World Record Croaker

My initial reaction to that picture was that the fish went around 3 lbs tops and they were being held out to make it look bigger. People who see a lot of fish pictures, like us, tend to automatically assume smaller when the fish is held out like that.

Here's one with a lot left to the imagination and because it's held close (my elbow is behind my head) your initial reaction is going to be correct that it's a pretty big fish:

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