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9-Year-Old Girl Breaks Maryland Cobia Record in a Big Way

The old Maryland cobia record didn’t even stand a chance. 

As we all know, some fishing records are harder to break than others. However, for this nine-year-old girl, her new Maryland cobia record may stand for a long time. As the story was reported, Emma Zajdel, of Ocean City, was fishing with her father near Little Gull Shoals with a few friends when the big fish hit.

“At first, we thought it was a shark, and the line was going out.” Emma said in her interview with Maryland DNR. “I could hear the reel and the drag and I thought I could go over the side.”

Amazingly, she handled the fish like a pro. It probably goes without saying, but her father could not be more proud. Here’s the newscast below.


“I kept the boat in gear and followed the fish at a 45-degree angle to keep the line tight and Emma settled,” Ed Zajdel said. “When she got the fish in, and we lifted it on board, it went ballistic. Emma and Ashton scurried to the front of the boat while Robert and I wrestled the fish into the fish box and iced it down.”

Emma’s new Maryland cobia record tipped the scales at 94.6 pounds. She easily beat the record old record of only 79 pounds with very little competition.

Not only did she catch a state record fish, this giant cobia also qualifies as an IGFA world record for the small fry category for kids under the age of 10.

Way to go Emma! That’s a lot to be proud of!

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9-Year-Old Girl Breaks Maryland Cobia Record in a Big Way