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A Connecticut angler caught a pending new State Record Atlantic bonito while fishing in the waters of Eastern Long Island Sound.
By Toby Lapinski  |  September 20, 2017
Once approved, the 11.5-pound Atlantic Bonito landed by Mark Drummey will set the new mark for Connecticut's bonito fanatics.

On Monday, September 18, angler Mark Drummey set out in his 15-foot Boston Whaler Montauk to hunt the false albacore which had popping up in eastern Long Island Sound for several days prior. He has caught a lot of false albacore in the waters off Groton/New London, but he had never caught a bonito before this day and it remained a goal of his.

Mark was throwing small soft plastics on his PENN Fierce spinning outfit when he hooked into something that fought much harder than expected. “This fish out-fought any albie I have ever hooked, and that is not meant to minimize what a great fighting fish false albacore are!” he said. “The fish was seconds away from spooling me and required throwing my [boat] into reverse to gain a little line back on my [reel]. Fortunately I had 30-pound braid and 30-pound fluorocarbon leader, [as] I doubt I would have landed it with anything less than that. I was fishing alone and after several botched attempts with the net the fish was landed.”

Mark knew he had caught a good-sized bonito, but it wasn’t until sometime later in the day back at the dock that he realized he might have a new State Record on his hands. He was speaking with Chris Lento, whom he had met at the boat ramp, when Chris suggested the fish might be close to the record. He looked it up on his phone, and when they both found out that the existing record was a little over 10 pounds, Mark put his catch on his Boga Grip and it registered just-shy of 12 pounds. He quickly tied down his boat and sped off to the nearest tackle shop for an official weight.

Well, he can now check another species off his bucket list as the 11.5-pound Atlantic bonito was weighed-in on the certified scales at J&B Tackle in Niantic and submitted for approval as a new State Record, eclipsing the existing record of 10 pounds, 3 ounces landed by angler Stan Bialecki in 2015.

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