ASSATEAGUE ISLAND — A 9-year-old girl has set a new state record by reeling in a massive 94.6-pound fish.
It took 20 minutes for Emma Zajdel to bring in the record-breaking cobia that weighs more than she does, and towers over her at 66.5 inches long.
Father-daughter pair Emma and Ed Zajdel were joined by friends for a day of fishing on the waters of Little Gull Shoals, near Maryland’s Assateague Island, on June 30th.
Minutes after Emma set her hook and cast it into the water, the line went tight.
“I kept the boat in gear and followed the fish at a 45-degree angle to keep the line tight and Emma settled,” Ed told Maryland Department of Natural resources.
“When she got the fish in and we lifted it on board it went ballistic.”
After a group effort, the fish was wrestled into the fish box and iced down, said Ed.
The following day a departmental biologist inspected Emma’s catch and certified the scaling.
Maryland Department of Natural Resources championed Emma Zajdel as the new state fishing record holder for cobia Monday.
Her catch breaks Maryland’s previous cobia record of 79 pounds (35.8 kg) set by Jack Latimer back in September of 2014.
And while Emma’s fish doesn’t quite hit the world record mark of 135.9 pounds (61.5 kg), Maryland’s Natural Resources officials said that Emma’s catch could become the new “International Game Fish Association Small Fry World Record for a fish caught by an angler under the age of 10.”
The current record is 48 pounds (21.7 kg).