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9-year-old girl sets Maryland fishing record

Posted: 5:21 PM, Jul 11, 2016
Updated: 2016-07-13 16:00:30Z

A 9-year-old from Ocean City, Maryland has set a new state fishing record with the capture of a 94.6-pound cobia, according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Emma Zajdel and her dad, Ed, were fishing near Little Gull Shoals, just east of Assateauge Island on June 30.

The group was hoping to catch some bluefish. Emma set her rod in place and then the fish took off and she set the hook.

"At first, we thought it was a shark, and the line was going out," Emma told the Department of Natural Resources. "I could hear the reel and the drag and I thought I could go over the side."

The battle lasted 20 minutes. Robert and Ed wrestled the fish into the fish box and iced it down. They kept it overnight and took it to the certified scale at Sunset Marina. Steve Doctor, the department fisheries biologist, inspected and confirmed the species and the catch.

The fish measured 66.5-inches long. Emma is just 52-inches tall. Her catch breaks the previous record, a 79-pound fish caught by Jack Latimer in 2014.

Emma's catch could become a new International Game Fish Association Small Fry World Record for a fish caught by an angler under age 10. The current record is 48-pounds.

Maryland maintains records for sport fish in three divisions - Atlantic, Chesapeake and freshwater - and awards plaques to anglers who achieve record catches.