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June 06, 2008

Potential world record weakfish landed on Staten Island

The fish came in at 19 pounds, 12 ounces

Dave Alu of Jackson, N.J. expected to catch a big weakfish while being guided during a May 6 night shore fishing trip on Staten Island by Capt. Rich Swisstack of Cliffwood, N.J. as that Shore Catch Guide Service skipper had been finding one or two tiderunners in the 12-to-15-pound class every night for two weeks. Those spawning weaks were being released, but Swisstack and his partner, Capt. Dave Torrick of Clark, N.J., recognized that the one Alu landed after it hit a bunker head was really exceptional. They assumed the weakfish record would be over 20 pounds, and were shocked when Swisstack's father, an IGFA member, looked it up and found it to be "just" 19 pounds 2 ounces - a mark shared by Dennis Rooney at Jones Inlet, N.Y. on Oct. 11, 1984 and William Thomas in Delaware Bay on May 10, 1989. After first weighing their weak at the Tackle Box in Hazlet at 19 pounds, 12 ounces, they returned to Staten Island and got the same weight on the certified scale at Michael's Tackle in Great Kills to also claim the New York state record.