June 19, 2006
According to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s
Division of Fish and Wildlife, a new state record cunner was taken
from the Mud Hole on March 7. Nick Honachefsky of Mantoloking caught
a 2 pound, 9 ounce cunner that weighed 11 ounces more than the
previous record taken off Brielle in 2002.
Honachefsky was bottom fishing from the charter boat Dauntless out of
Point Pleasant when he reeled the fish in on 40-pound test line using
a clam for bait. The fish measured 16 inches in length with an
11˝-inch girth. An avid saltwater fisherman, Nick is also an
accomplished writer and has authored several articles and
publications on the subject.
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.