We ran out for the re-opening of Virginia’s sea bass season yesterday. We caught a nice class of bass with a number pushing the 5-pound mark.
In addition to the bass fishing, we did some deeper bottom fishing in the area of the Norfolk Canyon. We had a good day catching: 5 Golden Tilefish, a Pollock, Blackbelly Rosefish, 12 or so Hake, Blueline Tilefish to 17 pounds 5 ounces, and 2 Snowy Grouper.
Steve Martin caught both our largest golden and blueline tilefish.
Roger Burnley caught both snowy grouper but he owes a shout-out to Wes Blow. We would have already come home but Wes has a thing about battling sea monsters and wanted to do “one more drop” for 2 or 3 hours after we were ready to quit. By the time Roger caught his second grouper, only he and Wes were still fishing. After this fish, Roger quit also. It was worth the extra effort. His first snowy weighed 50 pounds. We weighed his second fish at the VMRC building this morning. The digital scale read 70.48 pounds, which will be 70 pounds 7 ounces (2 hundredths short of an even 7-8). That is a lot of fish to crank up from 600 feet. The whole crew is dragging today.
We are going through the state and IGFA World Record processes. If approved (and it should be), this will be the 6th All-Tackle World Record Snowy Grouper caught on the Healthy Grin. It will be the 10th All-Tackle World Record caught on the boat overall.
Roger Burnley previously held the IGFA Snowy Grouper record and he established the initial Virginia State Record for the species (on the same trip Jeff Dail established the initial state record for golden tilefish).
Dr. Ken Neill, III
Love me some Sea Bass.
The only people that tell you it can't be done are the people who haven't done it themselves.
Wow, those are some fabulous Tiles and Snowies.... Something tells me you've done this before! Congratulations and thanks for making me envious...
Nice job on the meat.Great pics glad you had a great day.
What a great day, in addition to the monster snowies and big knotheads that black belly looks outsized too, or is it a Jimmie Houston pose?
It was a nice blackbelly, about 3.5 pounds.
For Immediate Release
June 1, 2011
Snowy Grouper State Record Broken
Roger Burnley of Virginia Beach, Virginia has established a new state record for snowy grouper with a 70-pound, 7-ounce fish caught May 22, 2011. The record fish was weighed and certified on an Ohaus digital scale at the office of the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament, located in Newport News. The digital scale registered 70.48 pounds but the weight was converted and listed as 70 pounds and 7-ounces as the state record. The record-setting grouper bested the existing state record, set by Jere Humphrey of Norfolk, Virginia, on August 17, 2008, by nearly 2-1/2 pounds. Burnley is filing an application with the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) for acceptance of his catch as the IGFA All-Tackle Record for snowy grouper. Humphrey’s 68-pound snowy grouper currently holds the IGFA All-Tackle Record.
Burnley caught his grouper “deep-dropping” near the Norfolk Canyon in 98 fathoms of water while fishing aboard the private boat Healthy Grin, skippered by Ken Neill, III, of Seaford. The fish had a length of 48 inches and a girth of 37 inches. The record fish was caught on a Shimano Trevala rod, mated with a Daiwa Saltist LD40 reel and spooled with 70-pound test Daiwa Saltiga Boat braided line. The record-setting grouper hit a custom made two hook bottom rig baited with squid and cut fish.
Snowy grouper was added to the list of species eligible for state record recognition by the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament Committee at their fall meeting in 2006 and carried an initial qualifying weight of 38 pounds. Roger Burnley of Virginia Beach registered Virginia’s first qualifying snowy grouper, at 49 pounds, 9 ounces, on April 29, 2007. Burnley’s record was eclipsed within days, on June 10, 2007, by Bob Manus of Ark, Virginia, with a 65-pound, 8-ounce grouper. Manus’ record status held until Chris Boyce of Hampton caught a 66-pounder later that year December 2007. Boyce’s record grouper lasted for 8 months before Humphrey landed his 68-pounder. The last three fish were later certified as IGFA All-Tackle Records for snowy grouper. The four prior record snowy grouper were caught in the general vicinity of the Norfolk Canyon “deep-dropping” in over 50 fathoms of water and using either whole or cut fish for bait. Additionally, five of the six state record grouper were caught aboard the Healthy Grin skippered by Ken Neill.
For more information, contact Lewis S. Gillingham, Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament, 2600 Washington Ave., Newport News, VA 23607, (757) 491-5160, firstname.lastname@example.org