74-Pound Striper Caught in Virginia

January 26, 2012 by

74 pounds of "rockfish." (Image from the Virginia Pilot)

“It was just like dragging a big ol’ heavy tire through the water.”

That’s how Carey Wolfe described the fight of the 74-pound striped bass he caught off Virginia Beach last Friday.

The fish hit a parachute jig trolled on heavy gear in the waters off Cape Henry in a fleet of about 100 boat working the wintering schools of stripers.

The big bass was just shy of 58 inches in length, and by examining the scales, scientists determined the fish was about 25 years old.

Every winter, the striped bass that spread out throughout the Northeast during the spring, summer and fall concentrate in the waters at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay as they feed in preparation for their spawning run up the Bay in early March. With the majority of the coastwide population of breeding-sized striped bass schooled up in this relatively small area, it’s no surprise to see such monster striped bass taken.

The previous Virginia state record striper was a 73 pounder caught in January 2008. Pending approval, this will be the fifth time that the VA state record has been broken since 2004.

record striped bass virginia

Wolfe displaying his record-breaking striper at a sportsman's show the weekend after the catch. (Image from MyFoxDC.com)

For more info: Prince William County Man Catches 74-pound Striped Bass

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Comments (0)

  1. Congratulations Carey what a hog!

  2. mitch says:

    Way to go Carey thats a keepa as the say here in Maine

  3. Mike Razz says:

    What a great fish. But we as recrational anglers need to realize if we keep taking these monsters especially at breeding time WE are going to kill the population of many great fish. The same way bluefin tuna fishing is closed in the Gulf of Mexico the same should happen in the Chesapeake pre spawn

    • Byrant Taylor says:

      I agree, this is a very nice fish, but it definitely should’ve been photographed and then released to spawn.

    • john frione says:

      great job super fish

    • jerry m. says:

      good looking out for the future of our oceans and sport.could not have said it better myself.But on the outher hand when you have a fisherman who has fished his whole life in search of that once in a lifetime fish it can almost be justified.

  4. Nate says:

    Hello,
    Nice fish. A fish of your life.

    Too bad no one had a digital camera to just take a picture and let the fish go.

  5. robin mykoo says:

    It’s so sad to see such a beautiful fish dead, I am a fisherman on long island this type of fish would be released if it was caught out here by the majority of anglers . we need those big fish to spawn. Think before you make a final decision. A picture tells a thousand words.

  6. Stewart Rosen says:

    Nice fish, but it’s sad you killed her – she could have ben taped or weighed and released alive. Also, pulling wire with heavy gear is a sad excuse for sport. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    • cary wolfe says:

      don’t be haters people. and it’s not the angler doing harm. it’s commercial fishing. we rarely get bragging rights. commercial can kill and keep massive numbers.

  7. beautiful fish it a shame she had to die to have her picture taken. C&R please

  8. Dex says:

    It is encouraging to see that the majority of those people commenting about this fish wish that it could have been released unharmed. The present abundance of Striped Bass makes it easy to forget the near disaster of the 1970′s and 1980′s.
    According to the Massachusetts and North Carolina Marine Fisheries Departments, this fish was capable of producing about 6 million eggs each year and and living for another 10 years. The taking of this fish could have eliminated the production of over 60 million eggs.
    The targeting of these fish as they winter in a small area off the Virginia coast is a major concern. According to news reports, Mr. Wolfe was fishing amidst a fleet of 100 boats when he caught his fish. The previous Virginia State record (a fish of 70 lbs) was caught in the same area almost exactly a year prior. This shows that the largest egg producers of the species are highly vulnerable at this time of year in this area. Do the writers of “on the Water” share my concern?

    • mike says:

      i agree…the commercial guys are doing great harm to the striped bass down south…..i remember last year that trawlers would toss out smaller legal stripers as a bycatch and only keep the biggest ones

  9. jeff says:

    A picture is worth a thousand fish

  10. 1st mate bobby says:

    dang as they say here in jersey what a monster!! thats a biggin

  11. JOHN ANASTASI says:

    YEARS AGO WE WOULD HAVE PUT THE FISH ON ICE AND SHOWED IT AROUND NOWDAYS WE MEASURE IT UP AND RELEASE IT WITH THE KNOWLEDGE THAT WE ARE DOING OUR SHARE TO SAVE THE FISHERY.
    IT IS ALL ABOUT DOING OUR SHARE TO SAVE THE FISHERY WE ALL LOVE
    CAREY I PRAY THAT YOU GET THE MESSAGE AND START RELEASING ALL THE BREEDERS AND DO YOUR SHARE TO KEEP THE FISHERY ALIVE. IT OKAY TO KEEP A SMALLER FISH FOR THE TABLE BUT THINK ABOUT THE MILLIONS OF FISH WHCIH WILL NEVER GET TO THE TABLE WITHOUT YOUR HELP

  12. Being a capecod commercial stripebass fisherman I would have taken a million pictures while alive and all the adulations and congrats from my brothered and thanked GOD for that oppurtunity! My partner and I release more fish each year than most people catch in 25 yrs. We think this selfish act is why we need better management down south and at that time of year!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Woody SB says:

    well done! we look forward to his brothers making there return to SALISBURY MA. again. GREAT JOB!!

  14. Steven Dunn says:

    Awesome fish! As far as killing such a big beautiful fish it is ok if it is your personal best, otherwise release it. For the dinner table, keep fish 36 inches or under, they taste better anyway. There is no arguing this cow would have produced another 60 million eggs in her life. Recreational fishermen blaming commercial fisherman for their abuses of this great AMERICAN resource as an excuse for being abusive is childish. We all need to respect our fishery and frown upon abuse or we will all be responsible for another rockfish/striper collapse like we had. Be a good American and look out for the next generation of fishermen.

  15. BIGRY says:

    oh man just like the rest of them u should have released that beauty, keep the smaller ones. I will say i see more people releasng fish these days than ever woooo hoooo something to look forward to in the future…now if we can only get the you know who people to stop invading our waters and keeping smalls