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June 11, 2009

Cobia state record claimed by Hilton Head Island angler

The marine game fish record for cobia, standing for five years, was recently claimed by an angler participating in the 24th annual edition of the Hilton Head Island Food & Beverage Fishing Tournament.

Robby Maroudas of Hilton Head Island was fishing just offshore on the Betsy Ross artificial reef in 90 feet of water when he hooked into and caught the 92-pound, 10-ounce cobia on May 26 to claim the new state record.

Maroudas, 34, headed out of Palmetto Bay Marina on Hilton Head Island aboard his vessel "Tuna Hut" with crew ready to win the Hilton Head Island Food & Beverage Cobia Tournament. Little did he know he would in fact win the "Main Event" award but also SET a new state record for cobia in South Carolina. Anchored just 20 miles offshore on the "Subway Cars," a popular structure added to the Betsy Ross Artificial Reef, the boat crew, using live menhaden for bait, landed a 46.1-pound cobia early in the day. Around 1 p.m. they had two quick hits to their rods and moments later the big fish took the bait. Maroudas grabbed the Crowder 6-foot rod paired with a Penn Torque 300 conventional reel and had the fish to the surface in a matter of minutes. The crew took one look at the massive fish, pulled anchor, and headed back home to ensure they would arrive safely at the scales within the set time limit. Karl Brenkert, biologist with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR), certified the catch and weight of the big cobia.

For a current listing of South Carolina’s State Record Marine Game fish, visit the DNR Web site at www.dnr.sc.gov/fish/saltrecs/records.html, contact Amy Dukes with the DNR Office of Fisheries Management at DukesA@dnr.sc.gov, or call (843) 953-9365.

South Carolina's natural resources are essential" for economic development and contribute nearly $30 billion and 230,000 jobs to the state's economy. Find out why "Life's Better Outdoors" at: www.dnr.sc.gov/green/index.html.

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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