The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has confirmed a teenager from Carroll County set a new state fishing record in the Atlantic Division for sheepshead.
Sykesville resident Robert Martin, 17, caught an 18-pound sheepshead Sept. 22 off the coast of Ocean City.
After hearing rumors sheepshead were biting, Robert and his father, Brad Martin, took a few days off to fish in Ocean City. The father and son duo caught a staggering 11 sheepshead on their first day out on the water. Around 9 a.m. their second day out, Robert felt an unusually strong tug on the line.
“It was heavier than the rest; I knew this one was different,” Martin said. Still, he was “amazed” when he pulled the big fish aboard the boat.
The catch was officially weighed and certified by the Ocean City Fishing Center. The fish replaces Raymond Daniels’ 13-year-old record Atlantic Division 17.5-pound sheepshead he caught at the Ocean City Inlet.
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 443-569-1381 or 410-260-8325. The department suggests fish be immersed in ice water to preserve weight until it can be checked, confirmed and certified.