Hold onto your fishing hats, folks! Thomas Over Jr., the angling extraordinaire from Darlington, has just secured his spot in piscatorial history by bagging the Maryland state record for rock bass. Move over, regular-sized fish – we’ve got a 1.0-pound rock star in the house!

Now, this fishing tale isn’t your run-of-the-mill, “I caught a boot” story. Thomas was out there in the lower Susquehanna River, casually tossing around a tandem perch rig like it’s no big deal. Little did he know, beneath the waters, a finned celebrity was eyeing his bait, ready for its moment in the limelight.

Thomas spilled the piscine tea, saying, “I was jigging for yellow perch with my trusty light spinning rod. Suddenly, I felt a ‘thump,’ and I thought, ‘Jackpot, jumbo yellow perch!’ But surprise, surprise – it was a fishy stranger I didn’t recognize. Sent a pic to the fishing squad, and Paul Badders hit me back with, ‘Dude, that’s a rock bass, and a pretty hefty one at that.'”

The record-breaker measured a whopping 10.5 inches – a finned behemoth, if you will. Certified scales at Anglers Sport Center in Annapolis confirmed its weight at a cool 1.0 pounds. Erik Zlokovitz from the Maryland DNR gave the nod, making Thomas the new rock bass royalty.

Now, here’s the kicker – this isn’t just any record. It’s a tie-breaker, a piscatorial déjà vu. Timothy A. Adams set the same record back in ’97 on the Susquehanna River. Thomas, unintentionally but stylishly, waltzed in and said, “Hold my fishing rod.”

For those wondering about rock bass fashion, picture this: short, stout bodies, a chic olive-green top, and sides that scream gold and brassy glam. Dark spots on the scales form a fishy stripe extravaganza. The anal fin, sporting five to seven spines, gives it that fashionable dark outline. Remember, it’s not a warmouth – it has more anal fin spines. Fish fashionista tip: rock bass are not the same as striped bass, the “rockfish” of the seas.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is all about those records, dividing them into divisions – Atlantic, Chesapeake, Nontidal, and Invasive. If you think you’ve got a record-breaker on your line, download that state record application and give them a ring at 443-569-1398. Pro tip from the pros: immerse your fishy friend in ice water for the ultimate weight preservation until the official fish detectives can confirm the grandeur of your catch.

So here’s to you, Thomas Over Jr., the undisputed rock star of rock bass. May your fishing tales be ever wilder, and your catches, well, even wilder!

Image/Source: Maryland.gov