David Akridge of Virginia Beach, Virginia has established a new state record for blueline tilefish with a 20-pound, 4-ounce fish caught March 19, 2009. The record-setting blueline bested the existing state record of 19 pounds, 14 ounces, set by Rick Wineman of Yorktown, Virginia, on March 31, 2007. Wineman's 19-pound, 4-ounce blueline tilefish currently holds the IGFA All-Tackle record. Akridge is filing an application with the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) for acceptance of his catch as the IGFA All-Tackle Record for blueline tilefish.
Akridge caught his blueline tilefish "deep-dropping" near the NE corner of the Norfolk Canyon in 330 feet of water while fishing aboard a Contender 27 Tournament, skippered by Max King. The fish had a length of 35 inches and a girth of 22-1/2 inches. The record fish was caught while jigging with a Williamson 9-ounce (250 gram)Abyss single hook jig on a Shimano Trevala 58XXH rod, mated with a Daiwa Saltist 50H reel and spooled with 80-pound Saltiga braided line.
Blueline tilefish was added to the list of species eligible for state record recognition by the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament Committee at their fall meeting in 2006 and carried an initial qualifying weight of 17-1/2 pounds. Doug Deese of Seaford registered Virginia's first qualifying blueline tilefish, at 18 pounds, 10 ounces, on March 10, 2007. Deese's record was short-lived, as Wineman boated his record tilefish less than three weeks later. Both prior record blueline tilefish were caught in the general vicinity of the Norfolk Canyon "deep-dropping" in over 300 feet of water but using bait fished on the bottom.
For more information, contact Lewis S. Gillingham, Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament, 2600 Washington Ave., 3rd Floor, Newport News, VA 23607, (757) 491-5160, firstname.lastname@example.org.