A 58-pound golden tilefish, caught on June 27, 2017 by Joshua Jung of Virginia Beach, has been certified as the new Virginia State Record for the species by the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament. The record-setting tilefish measured 47.5 inches (TL) and the roe-laden female sported a 32-1/4-inch girth.
Jung was fishing off the Virginia Beach coast and just south of the Norfolk Canyon aboard the private vessel Canyon Abyss skippered by Josh’s dad Carl Casamassina. The group of four left East Beach Marina, located just inside Little Creek Inlet, mid-morning on a planned combination overnighter and deep-drop trip in the vicinity of the Norfolk Canyon. About 4 pm Jung hooked the record-setting tilefish in 640 feet of water using a simple bottom rig baited with squid and cut fish on a well-traveled Penn Fathom Pinnacle rod mated to a Penn 40 DL DHS lever drag reel spooled with 40-pound spiderwire braid. An urgent 20 minute wrestling match followed, as several large sharks were seen in the area, and once on the surface, the fish was quickly boated.
Golden tilefish was added to the list of eligible species for state record consideration in November 2006 with an initial qualifying weight of 40 pounds. Jeffery Dail was the initial record holder, with a 44-pound golden tilefish caught on April 29, 2007. Dail’s record was bested by Charles Maresh on September 22, 2007 with a 53-1/2-pound tilefish. Aaron Sledd landed a 56-1/2 tilefish in June of 2008 and held the current state record fish prior to the certification of Jung’s 58-pound tilefish. The International Game Fish Association All-Tackle record for golden tilefish (Lopholatilus chamaelonticeps) is 65 pounds, 3 ounces, was set in August 2012, landed in New Jersey and caught at Poormans Canyon.
For more information, contact Lewis S. Gillingham, Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament, 968 S. Oriole Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23451, (757) 491-5160, firstname.lastname@example.org.