Virginia anglers register record numbers of trophy fish

Not only was speckled trout fishing good, but Virginia anglers caught more trophy striped bass than any of the 35 other species that are eligible for citation.

The 2008 Virginia Salt Water Fishing Tournament is over and the State's anglers scored a record number of trophy fish last year.   The tournament awards trophy plaques for fish exceeding a minimum weight or minimum length.  Last year, anglers registered 1,053 speckled trout for citation, more than twice the number of any other season in the program's 53 year history.   Not only was speckled trout fishing good, but Virginia anglers caught more trophy striped bass than any of the 35 other species that are eligible for citation.  Anglers landed 1,298 trophy rockfish with 372 fish over 44 inches for release and 926 striper bigger than the 40 pound minimum for a capture citation.  The program recorded 102 fish over fifty pounds, forty bass weighing more than 55 pounds, and eight striper that exceeded 60 pounds. One bass made big news last year.  Fred Barnes' 73 pound rockfish broke the current Virginia record and inched close to the long-standing all tackle World Record.  Two other anglers set new marks for State Record: Aaron Sledd's 56 ½ pound golden tile, Charles Maresh's 56 ½ golden tile, and Jere Humphry's 68 pound snowy grouper.   Humphry's fish also set a new World Record for the species.  To find out more about Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament, check out their web site at www.mrc.state.va.us.