Mike Krantz of Wilmington, North Carolina got the spring fishing season off to a great start with a 126-pound amberjack, besting the state record caught in 1973 by 1.5 pounds.
Krantz left Bogue Inlet last Tuesday and headed for the warm waters of the Gulf Stream with his father, Ron Krantz, and friend Andy Duskie. The trio began trolling as they approached the Stream, landing a wahoo and six blackfin tuna. Tiring of the trolling, they decided to drop some jigs over the continental shelf where they quickly hooked up with a 40-pound amberjack. Then the record hit.
“Something slammed the jig, smoking the reel and heading to the bottom. Then it was a tug o’war for 30 minutes. I catch a lot of fish but this one was putting a hurting on me,” said Krantz, who at the time was hoping he had a yellowfin tuna on the line. After finally landing the big fish, Krantz decided to bring it in for weighing, unaware what the state record for amberjack weighed.
A charter captain was at the marina where the fishermen stopped for fuel and weigh-in and recognized it may be a record fish. Captain Jeff Cronk checked the NCDMF website and immediately called officials to report the record. Krantz’ amberjack was 67 inches long and had a girth of 42.5 inches. He donated it to biologists for study.
Portions reprinted from Wilmington Star-News