February 3, 2009
Kelly Williams holds up his record-breaking longnose gar
caught from the Intracoastal Waterway at Coinjock - NC WRC Photo
RALEIGH, N.C. – A 16-foot Shakespeare Wonderpole, a tube
jig and an I-phone helped Kelly Williams land the latest North
Carolina Freshwater Fishing State Record.
The Virginia Beach angler reeled in a 25-pound longnose gar,
measuring 53 ˝ inches in length and 18 ˝ inches in girth, from the
Intracoastal Waterway near Coinjock on Jan. 30 while fishing with
his neighbor Glenn Cooper.
Williams and Cooper were fishing for striped bass in about 6 feet
of water when Williams hooked the monster gar. After a brief fight
in which Williams was sure the fish was going to break his rod, he
finally got it in the boat and saw that it was huge.
Despite the size of the fish, Williams said he was planning to
release it when Cooper pulled out his I-phone and downloaded the
freshwater fish state record information from the N.C. Wildlife
Resources Commission’s Web site.
“Glenn got on his phone and pulled up a picture on the Web site of
the other state record and it looked kind of skinny by
comparison,” Williams said. “So it was a good thing he was with
me. Otherwise, I’d have let it go if I was fishing by myself.”
The two men weren’t familiar with the area so they got back on the
I-phone to locate a store with certified scales. They had the fish
weighed on certified scales at TW’s Bait and Tackle in Kitty Hawk.
Kevin Dockendorf, a fisheries biologist with the N.C. Wildlife
Resources Commission, verified the catch.
In North Carolina, longnose gar are found statewide, but are most
abundant in coastal rivers and streams. They are the only species
of gar found in the state.
Williams’ catch surpasses the
held by Sebastian Lankiewicz of Jacksonville since June 2006,
by nearly 6 pounds and 4 inches.
To qualify for a state record, anglers must have caught the fish
on a rod and reel, must have the fish weighed on a certified scale
witnessed by one observer, have the fish positively identified by
a qualified expert from the Commission and submit an application
with a full, side-view photo of the fish.
Check out the other