New Hampshire Angler Catches Potential Record Black Sea Bass


One Granite State angler may have nabbed a new state record from the Piscataqua River last week. Tim Moore, who just recently landed a state record for white sucker in March, could be getting another notch on his belt after reeling in a one-pound, 13.28-ounce black sea bass on June 23. According to Moore, the fish has already been verified by a state biologist and is now awaiting review by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.

It was thanks to his wife that Moore did not eat the fish before it got the chance to be measured.

“I have caught black sea bass on Cape Cod that were in the five-pound range, so I really didn’t think much of the size of the ones I caught that day,” Moore told OutdoorHub. “However, black sea bass are relative newcomers to New Hampshire waters so it would make sense that their size might be a bit smaller than their southern brethren.”

You can see video of the catch below:

Moore, a seasoned angler and fishing guide, said he made the trip out last week due to rumors of black sea bass being found in the Piscataqua, despite it being too early in the season for them. Moore wanted to take advantage of his new Predator XL Minn Kota kayak in the fast current.

“Having the motorized kayak allowed me to tie on leaders and switch the rest of my gear over from stripers to black sea bass. I had decided that I would vertical jig rather than use bait, so I opted to use a 1.4 Elite Deluxe jig from Daddy Mac Lures. I made one practice drift to see exactly which direction I would drift. Then I reset my drift and dropped my jig to the bottom.

“I gave my rod a couple of pops and got a hit right away. It was an undersized black sea bass. Another drift and another black sea bass. This time it was a keeper-sized fish with a beautiful blue-humped head. I made a couple more drifts and hooked another fish. I was pretty sure it was a keeper black sea bass and once I got it to my kayak I was assured. It was a 15-inch fish. Not big by most standards, but legal and a good size to eat. I caught a few more smaller fish before I decided to head in for the day.”

Tim Moore holding up his record contender along with a smaller fish.
Tim Moore holding up his record contender along with a smaller fish.

Moore originally thought nothing of his catch and began filleting his fish as soon as he got home. The record sea bass was next on the chopping block when his wife noticed it and persuaded him to weigh it, which led to the angler realizing that the bass was about five ounces heavier than the current state record. According to state officials, that fish was caught by G. Ritchie White last year, also from the Piscataqua River. It was one pound and 8.64 ounces.

“This will make the fourth record certificate I have received from the NH Fish & Game Department since 2012,” Moore said, if the record is approved.

The angler currently holds the state record for gray triggerfish, and previously held the record for common white sucker twice, although both records have since been broken. Moore, who runs Tim Moore Outdoors, said he has no illusions about how long his new sea bass record will last. The angler added that catching records are not a big concern for him, but that he was delighted to have been gifted with so many.

“I don’t intentionally fish for state records so who know what will be next,” Moore said.

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