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May 20, 2002

NJ BOASTS NEW STATE RECORD CUNNER

For more information contact:
Al Ivany at 609-984-1795

According to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Fish and Wildlife, a new state record cunner was taken 80 miles southeast of Brielle on May 1. Kevin Mathiasen of Brick caught a 1 pound, 14 ounce cunner that weighed 4 ounces more than the previous record taken from an offshore wreck in 1993 by outdoor writer Al Ristori.

Mathiasen was bottom fishing from the Party/Charter Boat Jamaica when he caught the record cunner on 40-pound test using clams for bait. The fish measured 15 inches in length with an 11-inch girth.

The cunner, also known as bergall, is related to the tautog and can be found from Chesapeake Bay to Newfoundland. The two species are similar in body shape, but the cunner is slimmer and has a pointed snout. Averaging about a quarter of a pound and 6 to 10 inches in length, cunners range in color from mottled reddish to bluish brown on top, fading to slightly paler hues along the sides. Their small mouth is lined with several rows of uneven cone-shaped teeth.

The Record Fish Program honors the largest species of fish caught in the State. It revolves around a specific list of eligible freshwater and saltwater species, and is based on weight alone (there are no line classes). Scale certification documentation and a weighmaster's signature are necessary. Other rules apply. For more information or to request an application, call 609-633-7768. Visit the Division website at www.njfishandwildlife.com for a complete list of state record fish.