The 22.2-pound fish was caught Aug. 18 in the Atlantic Ocean’s Baltimore Canyon, about 65 miles offshore, by Andrew Orr of Drumore, Pa.
It qualifies for the Delaware record since it was caught on a boat that left from and returned to a Delaware port.
The fish was 37 inches long and caught aboard the private boat “Last Chance” with Capt. Bob Orr piloting.
It was initially verified by the Hook ’em & Cook ’em Bait and Tackle at the Indian River Marina in Delaware Seashore State Park, and later confirmed by Officer Adam Roark, a state fish & wildlife officer.
The latest record blueline tilefish, a new category in the tournament, topped a 21.8-pounder caught July 25 in Norfolk Canyon and the earlier record, a 19.7-pounder caught June 19 in Baltimore Canyon.
“Offshore fishing is where the action is right now,” said Garry Glanden , Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament director, Division of Fish & Wildlife. “With the popularity growing for tilefish, I would not be surprised if the record is broken yet again this year.”
According to the division, blueline tilefish are slow-growing, deep-water dwellers that are targeted by both recreational and commercial fisheries as a foodfish. The species may grow up to 40 inches long and live up to 43 years, feeding on bottom creatures such as crabs, shrimp, snails, worms, sea urchins and small fish and sharing habitat with groupers and snappers. Spawning occurs from May to October, with females laying more than 4 million free-floating eggs.