The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife recently announced the state’s first cobia spearfishing record. The honor goes to William Maier of Medford, who on July 17 took a 60-pound cobia from Cape May while fishing with his father.
“He was freediving in 40 ft. of water and saw 3 cobia swimming towards him,” the agency reported. “He shot the largest with a Riffe Euro 100cm. The fish ran hard and took about 50 yds. of line off the reel. Surfacing, William locked down the line and was towed around for about 15 minutes without the fish tiring. A follow-up shot slowed the fish and allowed William to swim down, get his arms around the fish and swim it to the surface and into the boat.”
New Jersey expanded its spearfishing record program in 2014 and as of August, only three fish have been listed out of a possible 17 species. In addition to Maier’s cobia, Robert Davis took a fluke near Barnegat Lighthouse and Luke Hickey harvested a Tautog also off Cape May. Both of those records have been recognized by the International Underwater Spearfishing Association as world records as well.
The other species categories, such as for cod, porgy, amberjack, and black sea bass, remain vacant—essentially making them open game for any prospective spearfishermen. However, in order to be considered a record fish the catch has to exceed a minimum weight requirement for the species.
From the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife, current spearfishing records (open and filled) are as follows:
|Amberjack, greater||Min. Wt. 60 pounds||VACANT|
|Bass, black sea||Min. Wt. 5 pounds||VACANT|
|Bluefish||Min. Wt. 18 pounds||VACANT|
|Cobia||60||0||2015||William Maier||Off Cape May|
|Cod||Min. Wt. 50 pounds||VACANT|
|Dolphin||Min. Wt. 40 pounds||VACANT|
|*Fluke||15||5||2014||Robert A. Davis||Off Barnegat Lighthouse|
|Flounder, winter||Min. Wt. 3 pounds||VACANT|
|Hake, red (ling)||Min. Wt. 9 pounds||VACANT|
|Pollock||Min. Wt. 30 pounds||VACANT|
|Porgy||Min. Wt. 4 pounds||VACANT|
|Sheepshead||Min. Wt. 12 pounds||VACANT|
|Spadefish||Min. Wt. 9 pounds||VACANT|
|Striped bass||Min. Wt. 55 pounds||VACANT|
|*Tautog||23||14||2007||Luke Dylan Hickey||Off Cape May|
|Triggerfish, gray||Min. Wt. 3.5 pounds||VACANT|
|Weakfish||Min. Wt. 14 pounds||VACANT|
Image courtesy New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife