Harford County Youth Angler Catches Record Fallfish

A Harford County youth angler has officially been recognized by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources as a new state record holder for fallfish in the nontidal division. Maxwell Diegel caught the two-pound, 14-ounce fallfish — Semotilus corporalis — on April 19 while fishing in Broad Creek, his local stream.

The 13-year-old angler was fishing from shore with corn and worms when he hooked his record catch.

“I knew I had something big when the rod bent in half,” said Diegel.

Diegel’s catch broke the previous state record fallfish of 2 pounds, 7 ounces caught by Adam Aghion in 2019. The fallfish weight was officially certified by Ashley Reimer of Conrad’s Crabs and Seafood in Bel Air. A Maryland Department of Natural Resources biologist confirmed the catch.

After Diegel realized he had a new state record, he “danced around and did a celebration,” and said the catch even led to a summer job opportunity at the seafood market that weighed the fish.

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 recommends the fish be immersed in ice water to preserve its weight until it can be checked, confirmed, and certified.