Jake Garrett may only be 9 years old, but he’s already acquired a list of impressive achievements. For the past three years, Jake has earned a Junior Angler Award from the Virginia Salt Water Fishing Tournament for catching 6 different species of fish in a year and last winter he landed a 46 inch rockfish. Now he can add a Small Fry World Record to his list of accolades.
Last December, Jake and his dad, Bill Garrett, were fishing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel for striped bass. “We had spent the whole day catching schoolie striper on light tackle,” Bill recalls, “and we were ready to pack it up.” But young Jake begged his father to target bigger bass off Kiptopeke Beach with live eels. “Even though we were tired and the eel bite had been slow we decided to make one last drift.”
Bill says that their baits had only been in the water for 3 minutes when they got the first bite. “I saw the bobber go down and I yelled to Jake to grab the rod,” Bill says. But Jake grabbed the wrong rod. Bill was just about to point out his son’s mistake, when the bobber attached to Jake’s rod dipped below the surface. “I yelled, ‘Set the Hook!’ but Jake was already rearing back.”
The young angler didn’t give the big fish a chance to fight. Within a few minutes, Jake’s trophy rockfish was lying on the deck. “We started celebrating as soon as the fish was in the boat,” Bill says. Jake and his dad took the fish to Chris’ Bait and Tackle where it weighed in at 50.9 pounds and set a new IGFA Small Fry World Record for striped bass.
“Jake’s a hard core angler,” says his dad, “he never gives up and he’s always ready to hit one more spot or make one more drift.”