Marshall Hall, MD — Justin Riley of Woodbine, Md. was fishing with his father, Ed, in the upper tidal waters of the Potomac River near Prince George’s County on Tuesday, Jan. 26 when he hooked and landed the largest recorded largemouth bass ever caught in Maryland waters. After a ten minute fight with a fish that would just not budge from the deep water, Justin and his dad caught their first glimpse of the huge fish at the water’s surface next to their boat.
“We just couldn’t believe the numbers when the still live bass was gently placed upon the scale,” said Riley.
Weighing in at a whopping 11 pounds and 2.88 ounces and measuring 24.25 inches long, Riley’s catch surpasses the long standing 1975 Chesapeake Division of the Maryland Sport Fishing Record for largemouth bass. The previous record largemouth bass was caught in 1975 by J.D. Noell in the Pocomoke River on Maryland’s lower Eastern Shore and weighed 9 pounds and 1 ounce. Riley’s catch also surpasses the largest inland water largemouth bass ever caught, an 11-pound, 2-ounce fish caught by Rodney Cockrell in 1984 from a private farm pond in Calvert County.
“Mr. Riley’s historic catch illustrations Maryland’s superb year-round fishing opportunities,” said Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary John R. Griffin.
A lifelong angler, 26-year old Justin Riley is no stranger to fishing for largemouth bass and has been fishing with his father in local tournaments since he was a young boy. On Tuesday, the father-son team was jigging on a deep water drop-off where they had to break up the morning’s skim ice on the cove before beginning fishing.
The Rileys kept the fish alive after the Angler’s Choice tournament weigh-in in Marshall Hall. The record largemouth bass will reside in a public fish display at Bass Pro Shop in Arundel Mills Mall in Hanover, Md.