Dorch­ester man catches record sheepshead

Dorchester Star - - FRONT PAGE -

CAM­BRIDGE — A Dorch­ester County res­i­dent has of­fi­cially been rec­og­nized by the Mary­land Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources for a new state fishing record, Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Di­vi­sion, for sheepshead.

Daniel Mas­tronardi Jr. caught the 14.1 pound record­break­ing fish around noon on Aug. 9, in the lower Bay, with peeler crab for bait in about 15 feet of wa­ter near the tar­get ship USAS Amer­i­can Mariner. Mas­tronardi’s catch breaks the 13.73 pound record that was set only

three years prior by Deale res­i­dent Dave Alve­berg.

Tar­get­ing speck­led trout and striped bass, 33-year-old Mas­tronardi said his catch came un­ex­pect­edly.

“I re­ally had no idea what I had on the line,” he said.

Mas­tronardi reeled in the record­break­ing sheepshead and im­me­di­ately called his fa­ther to check the state’s cur­rent state records.

He said, “It re­ally was one of the big­gest I’ve ever seen.” He plans to have his catch mounted for dis­play.

The sheepshead’s weight was con­firmed by Mark Crop­per of Kool Ice and Seafood Com­pany in Cam­bridge.

The depart­ment main­tains state records for sport fish in four di­vi­sions – At­lantic, Ch­e­sa­peake, Non­ti­dal, and In­va­sive, and awards plaques to an­glers who achieve record catches. Fish caught from pri­vately owned, fee-fishing wa­ters are in­el­i­gi­ble for con­sid­er­a­tion.

An­glers who think they have a po­ten­tial record catch should down­load and fill out the state record ap­pli­ca­tion and call 443569-1381 or 410-260-8325. The depart­ment rec­om­mends the fish be im­mersed in ice wa­ter to pre­serve its weight un­til it can be checked, con­firmed and cer­ti­fied.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

Daniel Mas­tronardi Jr. holds his 14.1 pound record-break­ing sheepshead in front of the tar­get ship in the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay.

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