A New York fishermen has landed the new state record striped bass.
Angler Eric Lester caught the whopper striped bass on May 14 in the Hudson River near the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge, according to nydailynews.com.
The 60-pound, 53.4-inch catch beat the current state record striped bass by nearly five pounds. It’s also the second largest freshwater catch in the state’s history (The first was a 69-pound 15-ounce muskie caught in 1957).
Did you know striped bass is New York's official marine fish?Discover other US state fish in this interactive map.
Lester’s striped bass catch is making a splash in the New York fishing community, and has even grabbed the attention of the state’s top officials.
“This is a remarkable new record catch,” DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens said in a statement. “I congratulate Mr. Lester on his success and determination in catching the largest recorded inland striped bass in New York and encourage others to take advantage of the many outstanding fishing opportunities New York has to offer.”
Lester also got a shout out from Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Twitter.
From one fisherman to another, congrats Eric Lester on catching a record-breaking 60-lb Striped Bass in Hudson River: http://t.co/uUlrgxh7B1
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) May 20, 2014
The 32-year-old angler caught the record striped bass by himself on his boat using a rod and reel with blood worm bait.
After he hooked the fish, the two engaged in 15 minute struggle that included some major setbacks. At one point the reel came off the rod, followed by the line became trapped on the boat’s propeller. Luckily, the bass tuckered out and Lester was able to pull it onboard.
He said he’s still brimming with excitement from the catch.
“Honestly, I’m still waiting to wake up,” he told the Daily News. “It still feels like I’m dreaming. It’s just crazy.”
As for the fish, Lester took it to a taxidermist and had it mounted.
Nice catch, sir!
Featured image via New York Daily News/New York Department of Energy and Conservation