77-Pound Albacore Becomes New Maryland State Record

The nearly 20-year record has been officially broken.

Thomas Bodmer record tuna
Thomas Bodmer with the new Maryland state record Albie. Courtesy Maryland DNR

Maryland’s DNR has recognized a 77-pound albacore—or longfin-tuna—that has become a new state record for the species. Angler Thomas “Tad” Bodmer, of Poolseville caught the fish Sept. 20 while fishing aboard the Ocean City-based boat Top Dog, with Captain Ryan Knapp and mate Josh.

The DNR reports they’d had a slow day of fishing and were trolling while heading for port, when suddenly three different trolling lines were hit by fish, and anglers rushed to handle the rods for battle.

“It was chaos,” Bodmer is quoted in a DNR press statement. “I would get my fish close and then it would run back out. It took 25 minutes to get it.”

The big albacore hit a ballyhoo bait, and when it was boated the anglers knew it was a huge fish for the species. But they didn’t realize it was a record catch until they reached shore and had it officially weighed and certified at Sunset Marina in Ocean City.

“All these people came out of the woodwork with cameras,” Bodner said. “I was like a deer in headlights.”

A Maryland DNR biologist confirmed the fish is an albacore and its recorded weight is accurate, making it viable for a state record.

Bodmer’s 77-pounder has now been accepted by the state as the new Maryland albacore record. His fish bettered the previous state record for the species of 74 pounds caught in July 2004 in Baltimore Canyon by angler Victor Gardner.

Albacore are one of many tuna species that swim the world’s oceans, and included bluefin, yellowfin, bigeye and blackfin tuna.

Albacore commonly are called longfin tuna because of their oversize pectoral fins that are a distinguishing feature of the prized species. The long fins extend nearly to the anal fin on the tuna.

Albacore are a prized light-tackle ocean roaming gamefish, and are valued for their good-eating qualities. They’re found worldwide in tropical and warm seas, including the Mediterranean. The pelagic sportfish migrates in certain seasons, ranging from New England to southern Brazil and the Gulf of Mexico.

The IGFA all-tackle record albacore weighed 88-pounds, 2-ounces, caught in Nov. 1977 in Spain’s Canary Islands by angler Seigfried Dickemann.

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