DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife has confirmed a new state record in the Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament: a 43-inch, 24.8-pound bluefish caught Monday over the Del-Jersey-Land Inshore Reef, the largest artificial reef on the Atlantic Coast whose centerpiece is the ex-destroyer USS Arthur W. Radford, sunk by DNREC in 2010. Also known as Delaware Reef Site 13, the Del-Jersey-Land Reef is one of numerous artificial reef sites established by the Division of Fish & Wildlife that have become “hot spot” destinations for salt water anglers from throughout the region.
Dr. Luis Mispireta of Stevensville, Md., caught the huge bluefish while aboard the charter vessel Katydid with Capt. Brent Wiest and Mate Chris Vann over Delaware Reef Site 13, some 26 nautical miles from Lewes. Dr. Mispireta was reeling in a black sea bass he had hooked fishing over the reef when the bluefish grabbed the sea bass and hooked itself as well. The bluefish was landed after a fight befitting its record size.
The record catch was initially confirmed by Joe Morris of Lewes Harbour Marina and later verified by Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Officer Joel Brosius. This new record bluefish is almost 3 pounds larger than the previous state record 21.9-pound bluefish, which was caught in 1980 by Bill Thoroughgood of Rehoboth Beach.