Matthew Florio now officially holds the New Jersey record for longfin albacore tuna. The commercial fisherman was fishing the Hudson Canyon Oct. 22 when he boated a 78-pound, 2.4-ounce fish. The state Department of Environmental Protection’s Fish and Wildlife division announced the record Dec. 7.
“Matthew was chunking off the boat Luna Sea at the east elbow of Hudson Canyon when he reeled in the fish,” the NJDEP reported. “The new record albacore tuna measured 48 and 3/8 inches in length and had a girth of 37 inches.”
According to the Asbury Park Press, Florio, a commercial scallop fisherman from Brick, was fishing for yellowfin tuna with his brother and three other men when the record albacore took a chunk of butterfish. His gear included a standup rod from Point Pleasant, New Jersey rod builder Kevin Bogan and a Penn 30 reel spooled with 60-pound monofilament.
Florio’s longfin was 3.4 ounces heavier than the previous New Jersey record longfin, caught in 1984. The Press attributed that catch to Dr. S. Scannapiego in the Spencer Canyon, which is south of the Hudson Canyon along the coast.
The all-tackle world record longfin was caught in November of 1977 by Siegfried Dickemann in Spain’s Canary Islands. The species is distinguished from other tunas by its long pectoral fins, which in adults stretch beyond the anal fin.
The longfin tuna is an important recreational and commercial species. It can be considered the “true” albacore of the Atlantic in contrast to the smaller false albacore, also known as little tunny, which are very popular among light tackle and fly anglers on the East Coast.
Another Longfin Albacore Record Broken
Meanwhile, down the coast, Maryland also broke its longfin record this fall. Thomas “Tad” Bodmer caught a 77-pounder while fishing from the charter Top Dog on Sept. 20, breaking the record set back in 2004 by Victor Gardner.
“Three lines went down at the same time,” Bodmer told Salt Water Sportsman, “We were zigzagging and crisscrossing each other, trying to keep out of everybody’s way, and the captain is yelling at us to go this way and that way, you go under and you go over. But he kept us straight and we landed all the fish. It was incredible.”