Kleckner?s fish hit a pearl white rubber shad fished on an umbrella rig . The rig was being worked on 30 -pound wire line spooled on a Penn 320 GTI reel that was mounted on a Penn Senator rod.
The fight lasted 25 minutes.
The rockfish measured 50? inches long and had a girth of 33 inches.
?Oh my land, it was a fat fish for sure,? Kleckner said. ?He was taking drag, and I was feeling every shake of his head.
?We knew it was a big one, maybe 45 or 50 pounds. But I never thought it would be a state record.?
Kleckner, a 48 -year-old operations technician at NASA?s Wallops Island flight facility, grew up in Chincoteague . He now lives in Greenbackville , just south of the Eastern Shore?s Maryland line.
?I?ve been fishing and hunting all my life, but I?ve never caught a striper anywhere near this big,? he said. ?I had a release citation a few years ago.?
Terry, also of Greenbackville , caught a 41-5 citation-winner about 15 minutes after Kleckner?s catch.
?That fish almost looked small next to mine,? Kleckner said. ?And a 41 -pounder is a nice fish.?
Virginia tournament director Claude Bain said Kleckner?s record could be short-lived.
With the current warm weather, many rockfish that had gone to deeper water outside the 3 -mile legal limit have moved back inshore. There also has been a significant number of catches off New Jersey and Maryland , indicating that there are still big fish that haven?t yet migrated into lower Virginia and upper North Carolina waters.
?His fish isn?t significantly bigger than Carolyn?s to stand the test of time,? Bain said. ?We?ve had lots of 55 - to 58 -pound fish caught this season, and there are good numbers of big fish out there.
?January is apparently the time to catch one of these big ones, so it wouldn?t surprise me if somebody tops it real soon.?
Alvin Wimbrough had caught a huge striped bass in May just south of Sandbridge. The fish was weighed at Long Bay Pointe Bait and Tackle and tipped the scales at 66 pounds, 8 ounces. That easily tops the current state record of 63-8, caught in January by Paul Kleckner of Greenbackville, Va.
But Wimbroughs fish has been disqualified as a pending state record. Wimbrough, of Virginia Beach, holds a state hook-and-line commercial fishing license. Rules for the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament, which oversees state records and presents awards for significant catches, prohibit commercial hook-and-line fishermen from participating in the program.
But Wimbrough said he has a tournament release citation hanging on his wall.
It could be that he does, said Claude Bain, director of the awards program. Some of these things slip through the cracks. But a state record is not going to slip through any crack.
Bain said the tournament committee has been adamant about the rule.
We cant get into the mind of a commercial fisherman when they go out on a trip, Bain said. The rule was designed to prevent one from going out, catching a big fish and then saying that they weren?t commercial fishing. More often than not, the trip started as a commercial trip.
Bain does not dispute the intent of Wimbroughs outing Friday but said rules are rules.
Wimbrough, 41, was fishing with a group of friends on the charter boat Fishing Fever with Capt. Paul Ewing. Wimbrough has chartered Ewings services in the past.
This was a charter trip, Wimbrough said. Since I got my citation from last year, I never thought it would be a problem.
Ewing and Wimbrough said they plan to fight the ruling.
Im a charter captain and this was a charter trip, Ewing said. ?We fish hard like every other recreational charter. His commercial status has nothing to do with this trip or this boat.
Well fight this for as long as the day is long.
THIS WAS INTERESTING WHEN I FIRST READ IT AND IT IS NEVER GONNA BE A RECORD FISH FOR THE REASON THEY STATED. THEY DON'T CARE IF HE WAS ON VIDEO CATCHING THAT FISH! THEY WILL NEVER GIVE THAT GUY HIS DUE IF HE INDEED CAUGHT IT ON THE CHARTER. GOOD IF IT WAS A BYCATCH/ BAD IF HE REALLY CAUGHT IT. SOMEHOW YOU JUST HAVE TO EXPECT TO BE BENT OVER FOR THE THINGS IN LIFE THAT EXCLUDE YOU FROM THE JOYS OF RECREATION.
At least the guy knows he caught it. Its the fish of a lifetime. Unfortunately for him the Virginia record is worth $25,000 to whomever qualifies according to the rules. Doesnt diminish Capt Pauls fish. Another way to look at it is at least they are adhering to the rules. Rules after all, are rules.
(edit**) I combined and recycled this thread to put it in its appropriate forum. part of the anti clutter operation
Fred Barnes of Chesapeake on Wednesday January 23rd 2008 shattered the Virginia state striped bass record with a 73-pounder caught off the Virginia Beach coast.
The previous record was a 68-pound, 1-ounce fish caught in 2006 by Clay Armstrong.
Barnes was fishing new Cape Henry aboard the Country Girl, skippered by Pat Foster, when the big fish hit a red and white Stretch 30 trolling plug.
Barnes' fish is one of only a few 70-pounders ever caught.
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