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When angler Samson Matthews hit the water on Monday, March 2nd, he and his friend we searching for blue catfish. The duo were fishing Marshyhope Creek, a tributary of the Nanticoke River in eastern Maryland. The creek runs between Kent County in Delaware and both Caroline and Dorchester Counties in Maryland.
When the 22-year-old Matthews felt an aggressive pull on his line, however, it was not a blue catfish. In fact, it wasn’t a catfish at all.
What Matthews pulled in, however, was a longnose gar. Often considered a “prehistoric” fish, estimates suggest that the species may have inhabited North American waters for over 100 million years.
While it was not what the anglers were expecting or hoping for, they had the wherewithal to get the weight certified as they believed the fish may have been heavy enough to qualify for a Maryland state record.
As you can tell by the title of this article, that decision proved to be a good one!
The official measurements, taken at Kool Ice and Seafood in Cambridge, confirmed an official weight of 18.3 pounds. This was heavy enough to certify as the new Maryland State Record longnose gar by less than half a pound.
In early 2019, the now-displaced state record longnose gar was also caught on Marshyhope Creek. The Jan 23, 2019 catch was landed by David Confair. His catch weighed in at 17.9 pounds.
Prior to Confair’s catch, Maryland had not seen a new state record longnose gar since 2011. That fish was caught on the Potomac River by Justin Kelly and weighed 17 pounds.
When do you think Maryland will see its next state record? Let us know in the comments section below. Also, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. We would love to see your longnose gar photos.