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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last year, I Went to Maine, Booth Bay Harbor,for some late season striped bass fishing. Well, we fished the beaches all day, not a single hit.

( They sleighed them the day prior of course ).

Well 8 hours later the captain deceided to try some bottom fishing. We pulled up to a rock ledge and droped our lines.

Then, I caught fish that mate called a Cunner. As I pulled it in, both the mate & Capt. said that it was the biggest Cunner they had ever seen. Sure I said, probally just a little story they came up with to make us feel a little better after bouncing around all day without as much as a bite.

The fish I caught was one that I remember catching ( only bigger though ) when I was living & fishing in Renolds Channel.

For the life in me, I could not remember the name of the fish, I knew we never called it a Cunner though.

Well after looking at a Maine State fishing guide it had other names of the Cunner, it was a Bergall.

Well, we left the Boat and went to our home, an hour later we went into town and ran into the Capt. who was trying to find us, he said that the fish I caught was a world & Maine state record fish !!!

Who would think that they actually keep records of Bergalls!. Well in Maine they do. ( it a quiet State).

So I am a record holder, in fact I crushed the old record !!!

How big was the fish ?

Is that raelly what's important here?

2 pounds 10 oz.

Oh but what a fight I gave me on my 50#


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Big Bergal

Congratulations IBK. I was fishing on the Fishhooker , captained by Otto Haselman, out of Montauk about 11-12 years ago with with some friends. We caught a few small cod and some big flounder. I caught a bergall about three pounds that the mate filleted for me even though we were shocked that anyone ate them (or that they grew that big). Did you keep your fish and are you going to mount it?

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You should see the size of the bergalls we catch out at coxes ledge and at the grecian wreck. A 3 pounder is not all that unusual. They are sold in the markets as sea perch. The inhookers sell them to the live fish markets.

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I've had a few jumbo bergalls fillet'd and they were pretty good. Since they're in the Wrasse family and cousin to the tautog, they taste almost as good as tog.
I believe the NJ state record is held by Al Ristori and his fish is only a little over a pound. A few of the ones I had caught would have beat that but I never weighed em in...maybe next time.
Maybe Crazy Alberto could post a few pics of some of the jumbo bergalls he has caught? I've seen a couple of pics and they are quite impressive for a Cunner.

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World Record Holder

My trusty fish database states the Bergall, or Cunner, grows to a max of 2.6 pounds and 15 inches.

News for you other guys who've caught bigger Cunners, you probably hold a record and don't even know it.

That's one to talk about at the bar. Just don't tell people how big the fish really is. :)


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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
OK guys,
I guess we will all be fishing for the elusive cunner now. It is a AQUIRED SKILL TO LAND SUCH A MONSTER RECORD FISH!

Years of practice,

working through all those 6-12 oz fish. But to finally land a wopper of this size , is quite a feat. All those fish you mentioned were probally half my size.

Plus the dificultly of landing one my size one on the tackle used. WOW !!

You have to fight these fish!!

At any moment they could run and jump and posibally break the line with their bill,..... I mean fin.

Sorry Al R. I have the record now !!

All you coxes ledge guys come on, Lets see who is the Cunner king !


Oh, by the way, they served it at the local restaurant that night as Sea Cunner. $14.95, included soup & salad.

Since I didn't take a photo of it, It was not accepted to the IGFA , only Maine State record.

Sorry Bast.....

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Photo of the record fish you would have beat

Here's a link to the page;

The reason why nobody ever enters the monster bergals from Montauk is that it's understood that some species, like bergals, are more novelty records that giving bragging rights to kids than they are serious records for adults. Al Ristori's NJ record is just over a pound. Thousands of fish that brak that record are caught every year at 17 fathoms by other adults and thrown right back. If a 12 year old catches a two pounder, then it's great for the kid to have the honors of breaking Al's record. Dogfish are another novelty species for the kids.
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