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March 13, 2008

Angler trumps new state record for white grunt

A mere 37 days after the first state record for a white grunt was added to the S.C. Saltwater Marine Gamefish record list, it was trumped by a Mt. Pleasant angler.  

Jason N. Edgerton caught a 5-pound white grunt on March 10th off the coast of Charleston on the Y73 - Reef.  The new record beats the initial state record, set by Sean Murphy of Myrtle Beach on February 2nd by two pounds. 

Edgerton, 30, headed off shore with owner and captain of Purpose One Charters, Rick Reddick, on his twin engine 26' Mako Center Console boat.  The crew, including Ben Floyd and Wes Covington, had a great day catching their limit of black seabass, vermilion snapper, and red porgy's.  One last set for the day landed Edgerton into the record book for his prize white grunt.  Using an 8-foot Shakespeare “ugly stick" rod paired with a conventional Penn reel and using a whole cigar minnow for bait, he reeled in the fish in about two minutes.  Only after being convinced by friend and fishing buddy, Mike Hightower, did Edgerton decide he better have the fished measured and weighed.  Mike Able, owner of Hadderell's Point Tackle and Supply, and rod and reel repair technician, Steve Baysinger, weighed the white grunt on their certified scale the following day.   Edgerton then brought the fish to the Marine Resources Center at S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and Amy Dukes, fisheries biologist and State Record Marine Game Fish Program Coordinator verified the new state record.  Paulette Mikell, DNR fisheries biologist with the MARMAP project, determined the white grunt was male, and took genetic samples from the fish to determine the age and maturity.   

DNR protects and manages South Carolina’s natural resources by making wise and balanced decisions for the benefit of the state’s natural resources and its people.


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