Scott Cusick might not have caught the right species of fish to win a big prize in last month's White Marlin Open, but the 40-year-old New Jersey angler certainly had a memorable — and massive — catch.
Cusick set a Maryland state record when he and crew members aboard a 50-foot Viking sport fishing boat hauled in a scalloped hammerhead shark that weighed nearly 267 pounds.
The catch was 12 pounds more than the previous record, set in 2009. It wasn't nearly as big as the 500-pound thresher shark that Cusick helped catch about five years ago near Matasquan, N.J.
"That's the odd part that this was a state record and the other one wasn't," Cusick said last week.
Cusick and the mates on captain Kenny Gallop's boat, "Milling Around," wrestled with the fish for about 45 minutes and thought they were about to catch a big-eyed tuna.
It wasn't until they saw the color and length of the fish that they knew it was a shark.
"That fish fought differently than most sharks," said Cusick, adding that he has caught countless sharks over the years.
Cusick will be among six anglers honored Saturday for state records by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources during the eighth annual Fishing Challenge Finale and Grand Prize Drawing at Sandy Point State Park.
The deadline for entries into the challenge is 11:59 p.m. Monday.
Though Cusick took home only $5,150 in prize money for catching the tournament's largest shark — compared to $1.4 million that went to Bill Woody of Pasadena for reeling in the largest white marlin, which weighed 72 pounds — the Jackson, N.J., resident wasn't disappointed.
"I knew there wasn't a lot of [prize] money in that category,"