Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife Fisheries biologists have confirmed that a 16-pound, 4-ounce tiger muskie caught on July 26 set a new state record for the species.

Recreational angler James R. Stewart of Newark caught the fish in the Brandywine River about a mile upstream from the Christina River. He used 6-pound test line to reel in the record fish, which was attracted to an artificial minnow baited beneath a bobber. Stewart plans to have the fish mounted.

The record catch was initially confirmed by Fish and Wildlife Enforcement agent Sr. Cpl. Jeff Howell, who responded to a report of a potential state record at Eastern Marine in Newark. Certified scales at Eastern Marine were used to weigh the tiger muskie.

Stewart’s record-sized catch tops the previous record, a 15-pound, 2-ounce tiger muskie caught by angler Richard Harris in 1991. The new record holder will be entered in the books for the 2012 Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament.

Tiger muskies are the sterile hybrid of muskellunge (muskie) and northern pike. This hybrid does occur naturally. However, the record-holder was most likely one of the hatchery-produced fish stocked by the State of Pennsylvania in the upper Brandywine River. Due to hybrid vigor, tiger muskies grow rapidly and thrive in warm water.

Image courtesy Delaware Department of Natural Resources

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