Lexington, SC angler sets new NC state record gray snapper

Nick Palombi (left), Mark Davis (center), and Capt. Steve Montgomery pose with Davis' 12-pound, 5-ounce gray snapper, which is the new NC state record.

New gag grouper NC record caught by Clayton, NC angler

The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries recently certified two state record fish, one establishing a state record for a gray snapper and the other breaking the record for a gag grouper.

Mark Davis of Lexington, S.C. caught the gray snapper (also called mangrove snapper) June 14 off Ocean Isle Beach. This fish weighed 12 pounds, 5 ounces.

There was no previous state record for gray snapper. To establish a state record, an internal division board determines that a fish was exceptionally large for North Carolina waters and within a reasonable range of the world record.

The International Game Fish Association all tackle world record for gray snapper was 18 pounds, 10 ounces, caught in Louisiana in 2015.

The fish measured 28.94 inches total length (tip of the nose to the tip of the tail) and had an 18.9-inch girth. Davis caught the fish using live menhaden on 65-pound braid line test with a Penn Carnage International 12 VSX rod and reel.

Louis Guzman of Clayton caught the gag grouper May 24 off Morehead City. It weighed 48 pounds, breaking the previous state record of 47.4 pounds, caught off of Carolina Beach in 2017.

The International Game Fish Association all tackle world record for gag grouper was 80 pounds, 6 ounces and was caught of Florida in 1993.

The fish measured 45.25 inches total length and had a 29.62-inch girth. Guzman caught the fish using live bait on 30-pound Berkley Big Game line test with a Shakespeare Ugly Stik Custom USCB 1170-M rod and Truth SG reel.

For more information, contact Carole Willis, with the North Carolina Saltwater Fishing Tournament, at 252-808-8081 or carole.y.willis@ncdenr.gov.

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