An 8-pound 9-ounce Atlantic tripletail caught by a young person has been certified as a Virginia State Record. Hayden Head, 19, of Yorktown, Virginia, caught the fish whereas fishing along with his father Jorj Head, who’s a part-time constitution information and full-time schoolteacher. Head and his father had been fishing with 4 youth anglers close to the York Spit within the decrease Chesapeake Bay on July 14, 2021.
“This was a youth group my dad has been taking fishing for years,” says Head, who serves as a first-mate to his father throughout summers. “If it had been a constitution, one of many shoppers most likely would’ve caught the fish.” The group had already had a productive day of fishing, boating a few cobia and some different species, earlier than they noticed the tripletail beneath a mat of seagrass. Head rigged a reside blue crab on a Temple Fork Outfitters rod he retains prepared only for tripletail. It was outfitted with a Penn reel spooled with 30-pound-test Power Pro. He suspended the crab on a three-foot chief below an orange cork.
Head pitched the bait towards the tripletail—which shortly took the providing. And one of many younger anglers netted the 23-inch fish, which had an 18.5-inch girth. The fish was formally weighed at Grafton Fishing Supply in Yorktown, the place Virginia Saltwater Fishing Match (VSWFT) Committee member Dr. Ken Neill positively confirmed it as a tripletail. Tripletail had been added to the listing of eligible species for state document consideration in 2020, with an preliminary qualifying weight of 8 kilos. However no entries had been submitted till Head’s fish—making this catch the first-ever state document tripletail.
Tripletail Fishing Has Been Rising in Reputation—For Good Purpose
Tripletail are a preferred sportfish in southern states, particularly Georgia, Alabama, and Florida, and alongside the Gulf of Mexico. The thick-scaled fish pull arduous and supply distinctive high quality on the dinner plate. VSWFT director Lewis S. Gillingham says tripletail aren’t new to Chesapeake Bay waters, however with the rise in sight fishing for cobia, anglers have been catching them extra typically. The fish are uncommon above the Chesapeake Bay however have reportedly been caught as far north as Massachusetts.
“We often solely catch a pair a yr,” says Head, who’s a sophomore at Thomas Nelson Neighborhood Faculty. “We’ve caught a pair within the 9- and 10-pound vary and even a bit greater in previous years.”
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In fact, these catches got here earlier than Virginia started recognizing the species in its record-keeping program. Head’s dad Jorj boated a 15-pounder greater than a decade in the past whereas utilizing a bucktail rigged for sight-casting to cobia close to buoys. “He didn’t even know what sort of fish it was at first,” says Head. “Dr. Ken Neill recognized it for us.”
Head says he and his father are on the water collectively virtually daily from late Might till late August when college begins up once more. “This document fish was the one tripletail we noticed all summer time,” he says. Properly, he made that chance rely.