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Charles Donohue of Philadelphia proudly displays his record-breaking tautog.

DNR Certifies New Record Tautog Fish

Ocean City, Md. (January 20, 2012) — Charles Donohue of Philadelphia caught a 23-pound tautog on January 11, setting a new State record. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) confirmed the catch, naming Donohue the new record holder, breaking the previous record of 20-pounds, 11-ounces set by Sam Beauchamp in 2007.

“The fish slammed the bait and the rod went straight down in a tough fight,” said Donohue. “I had no idea it was going to be such a big deal. Everyone on the boat was congratulating me and wanting a picture with me and the fish.”

Donohue caught his record 33-inch fish aboard Captain Monty Hawkins’ boat, Morning Star, over an artificial reef about 12 miles east of Ocean City. He was using a whole green crab as bait. Captain Hawkins said he felt the fish was a new record. The other anglers and crew agreed they should return to shore to get the fish weighed on a certified scale at AKE Marine. DNR biologist Steve Doctor met the crew at the dock to witness and certify the weight and species.

“It was a beautiful fish,” said Captain Hawkins. “The whole crew limited-out by 9:30, showing that the habitat work and reef building efforts have taken this fishery to new heights.”

“Tautog fishing is excellent on the near-shore artificial reefs and wrecks off of Maryland’s coast,” said DNR biologist, Keith Lockwood. “The winter months provide some of the best action for trophy tautog. Several headboats are running out of Ocean City when the weather permits.”

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   January 20, 2012

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly one-half million acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at