September 8, 2006
Annapolis, Maryland — Russell Knapp of Severn, Maryland
broke the state record for Atlantic croaker by catching a 6.52
pound croaker at the "Triangle" off Point Lookout in the
Chesapeake Bay on Monday, September 4. This catch eclipses the
previous record set by Rome Tull who caught a 6 pound, 3 ounce
fish more than 26 years ago on July 9, 1980 at the "Puppy Hole" in
Tangier Sound. The giant croaker was caught in 35 feet of water.
|Russell Knapp of Severn
With His State Record Croaker
"I knew it wasn't a striper the minute it hit,” said Mr. Knapp.
“He took off like a locomotive. I actually thought I had a red
drum on the line."
Atlantic croakers are members of the drum family and pound for
pound fight like their bigger cousin, the red drum. Next to
striped bass, croakers are one of the most popular sport fish on
both the Chesapeake Bay and the Ocean City area of Maryland’s
“The capture of this fish is of great interest to scientists, as
this fish may represent one of the oldest fish of this species
ever taken,” said DNR Fisheries Ecologist Martin Gary. “The
otoliths, or ear bones, are being extracted and sent to a
specialist in South Carolina for age analysis. These fish can live
up to eight years, so we look forward to learning the age of this
The record-breaking croaker fish may also be a new International
Game Fish Association (IGFA) all tackle world record fish as well,
pending approval. The previous IGFA record croaker was a 5 pound,
8 ounce fish caught by Carl Billings at Dauphin Island, Alabama on
August 8, 2000.