CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – After an hour and a half battle with a Cobia fish off the coast of Connecticut, Chicopee resident John Bertolasio is now the new record keeper in the state for catching the saltwater fish.
Bertolasio was fishing on Long Sand Shoal on August 13 when all of a sudden he got a hit on his line. The fish put up quite the fight, even snapping his fishing pole in half once the fish got closer to the boat. At first sight, he thought it was a shark he had just caught, but it turned out to be a Cobia and he decided to keep it.
Connecticut Fisheries and Wildlife have officially added Bertolasio to the state’s Exotic Marine Species Record list. The Cobia officially weighed 43 pounds and was 56″ in length.
Bertolasio talked to 22News about the catch, who still can’t believe what he caught, “When I got it clear to the boat, I saw it… this big brown fish. It just went straight down, I couldn’t even hold the pole, and then it snapped, the pole snapped. I thought I lost it but it was still on. The biggest fish I ever caught, I couldn’t hold it up it was so heavy. Whenever I catch a fish I get so happy I start singing!”
Cobia are often misidentified as sharks due to their close appearance. They are the closest living relative to the remora (shark sucker). Cobia are the only members of the Rachycentridae family in North America and can reach six feet in length and live up to 12 years.
According to Connecticut Fish and Wildlife, Cobia are becoming more common in the Long Island Sound due to climate change. The fish are usually found more south.