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State Record Golden Tilefish Caught

September 26, 2006


According to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Fish and Wildlife, a new state record golden tilefish was taken from Tom’s Canyon on September 9. Keith Karl of Brick caught a 55 pound, 4 ounce golden tilefish that weighed 4 ounces more than the previous record taken from Washington Canyon in 2005.

Karl was bottom fishing when he hooked the fish on Shimano equipment with 80-pound test and a combination of butterfish and sardines for bait. The fish measured 47 inches in length with a 31 1/8-inch girth.

Tilefish inhabit the outer continental shelf waters of the Atlantic Ocean along much of North America and parts of South America. They are a colorful species with a blue or olive-green back and yellow or rose-colored sides and belly. The back, sides, and dorsal fin are covered with yellow spots. They are a slow-growing and long-lived fish with females living up to 35 years of age and males up to 26 years.

Tilefish are found at depths from 240 to 400 feet. Unlike most deep-water species that typically congregate over reefs, tilefish show an affinity for sandy bottoms where they sit in small indentations or burrows in the ocean floor. During the day they will usually feed and stay near their primary burrow feeding on an assortment of crustaceans.

The Record Fish Program honors the largest species of fish/crustaceans caught in the state. It revolves around a specific list of eligible 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.

Please note that as of June 6, 2006, 103 species (31 freshwater and 72 saltwater) are eligible for entry in the Record Fish Program. Anglers are reminded that the objective of the Record Fish Program is to increase the awareness of fishing opportunities for species that are regularly sought after and routinely found in or off the coast of New Jersey.

For more information, see the Record Fish Program page at

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Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: September 26, 2006