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State Record Blueline Tilefish Caught

Robert Purcell of Bishopville caught a Maryland record 20-pound blueline tilefish, on September 12, about 75 miles southeast of Ocean City.

“We had a slow morning fishing over the Norfolk Canyon for white marlin and decided to switch to bottom fishing,” said Purcell.  “I rigged a strip of skipjack tuna for bait and dropped it about 450 feet to the bottom.”

It was this combination that landed him the record fish.

Onshore at Ocean City’s Sunset Marina, weigh master Stan Hansen certified the fish’s weight. Maryland Department Natural Resources (DNR) fisheries biologist Steve Doctor confirmed the species, making the catch official.

The previous Maryland record blueline tilefish was 17 pounds, seven ounces, caught in October 2011 at the Baltimore Canyon by Brendan Hoffman. Purcell’s fish was just four ounces shy of the world record, caught by a Virginia angler over the Norfolk Canyon.

Purcell will receive a state record plaque from DNR and will be recognized at next year’s Maryland Fishing Challenge awards ceremony at the Maryland Seafood Festival in Annapolis. 

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