Maryland State Record Longnose Gar

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A Westover Maryland angler recently set a new Maryland State record for longnose gar by catching a 17 pound, 49 inch fish. Justin Kelly was fishing on the Pocomoke River near when he made the record catch, using steel leaders and live bluegill for bait.

After a long fight, he finally pulled the fish aboard and noticed its exceptional size. Kelly then took his catch to the nearest Maryland Fishing Challenge award center.

The center measured and weighed the fish, then checked the Maryland Fishing Guide to find that it exceeded the 36-inch minimum angler award size and broke the previous State record of 16 pounds for longnose gar. DNR Biologist, Keith Lockwood soon joined Kelly to examine the fish and certify the rare catch.

The longnose gar’s ancestry dates back to among the most primitive of species. This brackish water fish features a long, cylindrical body with tough scales and rows of large, sharp teeth. Its bony mouth makes it difficult to catch.

Kelly is now one of Maryland’s more than 90 fishing record holders. He will also join Maryland’s other angler award winners on September 10 at the Maryland Fishing Challenge Grand Finale event during the 44th annual Maryland Seafood Festival at Sandy Point State Park.

For information on the Maryland Fishing Challenge, visit

source: MD DNR