• The largest cod ever recorded weighed 211.25 pounds and was caught on a longline off Massachusetts in May 1895.
• On July 22, 1873, Miss Fannie Belis of St. Louis caught a 130-pounder during a fishing excursion aboard the yacht United States off Eastern Point, Mass. A number of cod over 100 pounds were reported in the late 1800s, but few, if any, of that size have been documented in the 20th century.
If there was ever a poster child for overfishing, it’s the Atlantic halibut, a jumbo member of the flounder clan that can grow to upward of 400 pounds. Like cod, halibut were plentiful on the Grand Banks, Georges Bank and in the Gulf of Maine during Colonial times, but they weren’t considered fit to eat and were regarded by cod fishermen as a nuisance.
The sport of catching groundfish dates back more than 200 years. George Washington is said to have made a successful excursion off New Hampshire to catch cod around the time of the Revolutionary War, and the species’ popularity has endured ever since.
Photos by Robert L. Drake
Easy boating access to the Intracoastal Waterway, the Atlantic Ocean and the many islands and banks around Beaufort Inlet, N.C., persuaded Gordon and Lisa Douglas to buy a vacation home in Atlantic Beach on protected high land overlooking Bogue Sound nine years ago.
Painting by John Barber
It’s early morning at Capt. Johnny Ward’s dock on Jackson Creek near the mouth of the Rappahannock River in Virginia, and these two 60-foot wooden buyboats will soon be headed out into lower Chesapeake Bay for a day’s hard work.
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