George O. Dale of Wilmington caught the first state record Graysby grouper.
The Division of Marine Fisheries certified the 2-pound, 3-ounce fish Dale caught May 31 about 40 miles outside of Masonboro Inlet in about 100 feet deep water.
The world record Graysby grouper caught off Texas in 1998 weighed 2 pounds and 8 ounces.
The fish measured 15 inches total length, from the tip of the snout to the tip of the compressed tail, and had an 18-inch girth.
Dale used a heavy jigging rod and a Penn Slammer III reel using cut bait on a floral carbon rig with 80-pound braid.
To establish a state record fish, an angler must submit an application that is then reviewed by state Division of Marine Fisheries staff. The fish must be exceptionally large for North Carolina waters and within a reasonable range of the world record.
For more information on state record fish, go to the division’s State Saltwater Records webpage or contact the North Carolina Saltwater Fishing Tournament staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.