A teenager from Carroll County is now the proud Maryland state record-holder for the largest sheepshead in the Atlantic Division.
17-year-old Robert Martin, from Sykesville, caught an 18-pounder September 22 off of the coast of Ocean City.
Martin and his father Brad had heard rumors that sheepshead were biting, so they went to Ocean City for a few days. The rumors were true: in just the first day, the father and son caught 11 sheepshead. But it was their second day on the water when Robert tells the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) that the record-breaker came along.
“It was heavier than the rest; I knew this one was different,” Martin said. Still, he was “amazed” when he pulled the big fish aboard the boat.
The Ocean City Fishing Center officially weighed and certified Martin’s catch, and Maryland DNR confirmed that he broke a 13-year-old record for the Atlantic Divison, held by Raymond Daniels, who caught a 17.5-pound sheepshead at the Ocean City Inlet.
DNR has state records for sport fish in four divisions: Atlantic, Chesapeake, Nontidal, and Invasive, and they award plaques to anglers who catch record fish. Fish caught in privately owned, fee-fishing waters aren’t eligible.
Anglers who think they have a potential record catch should download and fill out the state record application and call 443-569-1381 or 410-260-8325. The department suggests fish be immersed in ice water to preserve weight until it can be checked, confirmed and certified.