TRENTON-The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has certified two new fish into the state record book, ousting a Lakewood man who had held one of those records for the past year.
Old Record Tilefish
Last year, the NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife has announced that Richard Englesbe of Lakewood made his way onto the state record fish list recently by landing a state record Gray Tilefish.
Englesbe was fishing off a boat when he reeled in the 18 pound, 14 ounce fish, eclipsing the old record caught by Joseph Sanzone 7 years ago off Toms Canyon by 7 ounces.
Englesbe was fishing off the party boat, Voyager captained by Jeff Gutman out of Fisherman’s Supply in Point Pleasant on September 2. The boat was fishing in the Wilmington Canyon when the fish hit while bottom fishing.
Englesbe was using a Jigging Master PE-8 reel spooled with 70-lb. test braided line and a Reelseat Custom rod. He used squid for bait.
New Record Tilefish
That was last year, this year, Cheol Min Park of Parsippany, on September 30 reeled in a 23 pound, 1 ounce Gray Tilefish was caught fishing from the Voyager in Wilmington Canyon.
The fish measured 35 5/16 inches in length with a girth of 27 1/2 inches. Cheol was using a custom rod and JM PE7 reel with a squid as bait. Cheol’s fish weighed 5 pounds, 3 ounces more than Englesbe’s.
New Record Sheepshead
When William Catino of Ventnor, reeled in the new state record Sheepshead on October 14, the fish weighed in at 19 pounds, 3 ounces eclipsing the previous record by 2 pounds. William was fishing off a dock in Longport using a rod and Penn reel when he landed his catch.
Ventnor broke a record held by an Ocean County man for the past 10 years.
10 Year Old Former Record Sheepshead
Catino’s fish shadowed one caught way back in 2004 by Manahawkin resident, Paul Lowe.
Lowe caught the 17 pound, 3 ounce, sheepshead on September 17. It weighed 3 pounds, 2 ounces more than the previous record taken from Great Egg Inlet in 1995.
Lowe was bottom fishing with clams when he caught the record sheepshead on 17-pound test line near the Causeway Bridge. The fish measured 27½ inches in length with a 24½-inch girth.
The sheepshead is a large porgy that can reach a maximum weight of about 20 pounds. The coloration is mainly gray with five or six broad dark bars along each side. It is found in shallow coastal waters and estuaries from New York to Florida and may even enter fresh water on occasion.
The sheepshead uses its broad, peg-like teeth to crush mollusks and crabs, and to scrape barnacles and other encrusting organisms from rocks and pilings. It is a relatively long-lived species and grows quickly during the first three years of life. The sheepshead is an excellent, highly valued food fish that is caught by trawlers and also on hook and line.