BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A nine-year-old girl has reeled in a record-breaking fish off of Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
Meghan McCorkell spoke to the young angler and her father.
When that family set out for an afternoon fishing trip, they never expected to beat a state record.
When Emma Zajdel went fishing with her dad, she was not expecting to pull a 94 pound fish out of the water.
Zajdel, her father and family friends were about to call it a day fishing on a boat near Assateague Island when they put the rods in one last time.
“We started getting a bite on ours so I got the belt on and Mr. Robert handed me the rod,” Emma said.
It was her turn to reel in and they quickly knew it wasn’t a small fish.
“At first we thought it was a brown shark or something until it got close, right up alongside the boat,” said Ed Zajdel.
That’s when they saw it: a massive cobia, bigger than anything Ashton Clarke had ever seen.
“I’ve seen pictures but I’ve never seen anything that big,” Clarke said.
At 94.6 pounds and 66.5 inches, the fish weighs 30 pounds more than Emma and is more than a foot longer.
The previous state record for a cobia was 79 pounds. Emma’s fish is nearly 15 pounds heavier than that.
Now she and Clarke will be back on the water this weekend and they’re hoping to reel in another big one.
It took about 20 minutes for Emma to reel in that fish. Her catch may also win the International Game Fish Association Award for biggest fish caught by someone under 10 years old.