89-pound cobia breaks Delaware state record

Delaware has a new cobia state record—and it beat the old one by more than 10 pounds. Caught July 15 by Scott Brooks, the record-breaking cobia tipped the scales at 89 pounds, 3.2 ounces. Brooks hooked it while casting a bucket to a school of baitfish near a beach near the Indian River inlet. “We were coming back from offshore fishing, and we were riding on the beach, and there were just bunker balls everywhere,” Brooks says. F&S. “I was showing my brother-in-law how to fish a jig and then, all of a sudden, my rod just got stuck.”

Large 89-pound cobia breaks Delaware state record
Often, when a cobia hooks up, the whole school appears with it. Andrew Farach

The fight started immediately. “When he bit, [the fish] it was kind of close to the boat and we saw it, so we knew how big it was,” Brooks said. “Once he realized what was going on, he got as far down as he could.”

The battle continued that way for about 45 minutes, with Brooks going through a series of blistering runs before finally getting through with the 63-inch boat. Once the giant tumbled onto the deck, Brooks and his friends thought it might be a new state record. They guided the boat to the inlet and a marine shop with an official scale.

“I went in there cool and calm and said, ‘Guys, I’m going to need you to weigh a fish for me,'” Brooks said. “They pointed to the scale, and I said, ‘I don’t think you understand, I’m going to need a bigger scale.’ When the owner came out and saw the fish, his eyes looked like silver dollars.”

Large 89-pound cobia breaks Delaware state record
Brooks pulled his massive cobia into the marina along with a yellowfin tuna caught earlier in the day.

The tackle shop was eventually able to weigh the fish on a certified scale, and a Delaware game warden quickly arrived to confirm the record. At 89 pounds, the Delaware cobia is 46 pounds lighter than the current International Gamefish Association (IGFA) world record, which is 135 pounds. This fish was caught off the coast of Australia in 1985. According to the IGFA, the cobia is a famous hard-hitting fish, prone to long, powerful, determined runs and occasional jumps—and they are highly regarded as table prices.

Read further: Rare Connecticut Cobia Catch May Be New State Record

When he finally took his trophy home, Brooks says he shared the reward with his friends and neighbors. “We had a seafood feast where we cooked all the fish we caught and shared it with everyone,” he said. “I don’t know if I caught it, and it’s a state record, and it just tasted better because of it, but it tasted really good.”

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