In a groundbreaking feat, Massachusetts angler Matthew Frattasio has secured the first-ever fishing record for a specific species in North Carolina. Frattasio achieved this remarkable accomplishment while aboard Riptide Charters, led by Captain Terry Nugent, near Morehead City.
The record-setting catch is an impressive 26-pound, 15.6-ounce almaco jack, a species not previously documented in North Carolina records. Frattasio’s angling expedition took him to waters with depths of up to 80 feet, where he skillfully reeled in the extraordinary fish.
The successful catch utilized “live menhaden and 50-pound braid on a Daiwa Saltist MQ 14000 reel paired with a Hogy Tuna jigging rod,” as detailed in a press release from the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).
This particular almaco jack measured 36.4 inches from the tip of the nose to the fork in the tail, with a circumference of 26 inches, showcasing the magnitude of Frattasio’s achievement. Notably, there was no existing record for this species in North Carolina, making Frattasio’s catch a significant addition to the state’s fishing history.
In comparison to other state records, the almaco jack caught by Frattasio surpasses records in Georgia and Florida, standing at 7 pounds 0.7 ounces and 35 pounds 9 ounces, respectively, according to the DEQ.
Frattasio and Captain Nugent ensured the legitimacy of their record by having the fish reviewed by a fisheries staff member at the Morehead City office of the Division of Marine Fisheries Headquarters.
Captain Nugent enthusiastically shared news of the extraordinary fishing day on his Facebook page, describing it as “one of the best days of fishing I’ve EVER experienced anywhere.” The journey, spanning eight hours on the open water, included the intense 2.5-hour battle with the colossal almaco jack, reinforcing the exceptional nature of this historic fishing endeavor.