A 23-pound, 5-ounce blueline tilefish caught July 4, 2009 by Michael Adkins of Sutherland, Virginia has been certified as the new Virginia state record for the species by the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament. The record-setting blueline ousted the existing state record of 20 pounds, 10 ounces caught by Kenneth Bowe of Chester, VA, just six days earlier on June 28. Bowe and Adkins were fishing together when each landed their record catch.
Adkins made his record catch in approximately 400 feet of water near the Norfolk Canyon while fishing aboard his 25-foot private boat Fish-A-Holic. The fish had a total length of 35 inches and a girth of 24-1/4 inches. The record fish was caught on a simple bottom rig baited with a combination of squid and ballyhoo. Adkins used a Shimano Trevala 5-foot, 6-inch rod, mated with a Shimano Torium 20 reel spooled with 65-pound Power Pro braided line. The catch was netted at boatside by Bowe.
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 Rick Wineman boated a 19-pound, 14-ounce tilefish less than three weeks later. Wineman's record stood for nearly two years, before David Akridge boated a 20-pound, 4-ounce blueline March 19 of this year. Akridge's record stood slightly over 3 months before Kenneth Bowe landed a 20-pound, 10-ounce blueline June 28.
For more information, contact Lewis S. Gillingham, Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament, 2600 Washington Avenue, Third Floor, Newport News, VA 23607, (757) 491-5160 firstname.lastname@example.org