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New Jersey State Record Cunner

June 19, 2006

According to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Fish and Wildlife, a new state record cunner was taken from the Mud Hole on March 7. Nick Honachefsky of Mantoloking caught a 2 pound, 9 ounce cunner that weighed 11 ounces more than the previous record taken off Brielle in 2002.

Honachefsky was bottom fishing from the charter boat Dauntless out of Point Pleasant when he reeled the fish in on 40-pound test line using a clam for bait. The fish measured 16 inches in length with an 11˝-inch girth. An avid saltwater fisherman, Nick is also an accomplished writer and has authored several articles and publications on the subject.

The cunner, also known as bergall, is related to the tautog and can be found from Chesapeake Bay to Newfoundland. The two species are similar in body shape, but the cunner is slimmer and has a pointed snout. Averaging about a quarter of a pound and 6 to 10 inches in length, cunners range in color from mottled reddish to bluish brown on top, fading to slightly paler hues along the sides. Their small mouth is lined with several rows of uneven cone-shaped teeth.

The Record Fish Program honors the largest species of fish caught in the state. It revolves around a specific list of eligible freshwater and saltwater species, and is based on weight alone (there are no line classes). Scale certification documentation and a weighmaster’s signature are necessary. Other rules apply.


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