In what can be described as a freak coincidence, Dr. Savern Scannapiego was also in the Hudson Canyon on Oct. 22, the day his longfin tuna record of 38 years was bested by Matt Florio, a scallop fisherman from Brick.
In 1984, Scannapiego, who's an orthopedist with a practice in Paterson, captured the state's angling record for a longfin tuna or true albacore, fishing from his boat, Island Girl. He was in the Spencer Canyon when he reeled in a 77-pound, 15-ounce longfin, which stood for years.
Back then, Scannapiego appeared several times in the columns of the late-Asbury Park Press outdoor writer John Gieser, mostly for tuna fishing. Fast-forward to now and Scannapiego, in his 70s, still enjoys fishing.
"I heard them on the radio. I always thought the record would eventually be broken. I wish him good luck with it," Scannapiego said of Oct. 22.
A smidge over three ounces. That's just how little separated Scannapiego's old longfin tuna state angling record from Florio's new mark of 78 pounds, 2.4 ounces.
New Jersey Fish and Wildlife took about six weeks to certify the record fish, which Florio landed in the East Elbow of the Hudson Canyon. The record was announced Monday.
Florio, was on his boat Luna Sea. On board with him was his brother Luke, Chris Steinert and Sean Lodzinski, all of Brick and Sam Messler of Stafford. The whole lot are scallop fishermen.
They were in the middle of a tuna blitz of mostly yellowfin tuna. They were chunking and the record fish hit a butterfish hook bait on a Kevin Bogan custom 30-class stand-up tuna rod with Penn reel. The fish was weighed at the Hoffman's Marina dock scale in Brielle.
The conditions were poor mid-week for the boats to get out, but the Golden Eagle had a good striped bass catch the last day it saw action, which was Tuesday. Capt. Rich Falcone said the boat was out early in some choppy seas and some drizzle but they found the fish biting and had a boat limit early.
Along the beaches some locales are doing better than others. There were bass being landed in the Monmouth County surf just below Sea Bright this week but the fish are favoring the Ocean County barrier islands.
Grumpy's Tackle in Seaside Park had several fish weighed in and reports from surf casters on the beach. All sorts of stuff are working according to the shop from bucktails, shads, Mag Darters, and SP Minnows to bunker. Anglers have to walk a little and test the holes around the sand bars.
Wednesday was a decent day on Long Beach Island. Five striped bass were entered in the surf fishing classic. Another was brought in early on Thursday. The nine-week contest concludes on Sunday. James Worobetz of Tabernacle is the current leader with a 19-pound, 9-ounce bass. He just got the fish in under the limit as it measured 37 ⅜ inches.
When Jersey Shore native Dan Radel is not reporting the news, you can find him in a college classroom where he is a history professor. Reach him @danielradelapp; 732-643-4072; email@example.com.
This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Brick fisherman sets NJ record for heaviest longfin tuna