Matthew Ruggiero 18.5" 3.42 Lb Blow Fish
Written by Bob Maehrlein   
Saturday, 21 July 2012 09:29

matthews blow fishCongratulations to Matthew Ruggiero, age 7, for his fine catch of this smooth puffer fish!  Young Matthew was fishing with his mom, dad and older brother Nico this past  Wednesday, July 18 on their boat “Hook’m & Book’m”.

The family was fishing Barnegat Bay, near Waretown.   As Dad was cutting up the squid, and Mom and Nico were fishing off the stern, something big took Matthew’s bait.  According to Matthew’s mom, Nicole, “Matthew gets hooked up and starts yelling, ‘It’s a big one!’ The line was pulling very fast and his drag was screaming!” 

Once the fish was finally brought to the surface, and they realized how big it actually was, Dad reached for the net and expertly scooped it up.   “We couldn’t believe the size of the fish!” exclaimed Nicole. 

It taped out at 18 1/2 inches and pushed the needle on the scale at L&H Bait and Tackle to 3.42 pounds.   At first, they thought they might have had a record blowfish, a.k.a. northern puffer.  However, upon closer examination, it was determined to be a smooth puffer.  To which Nicole remarked, “Not a state record, but pretty big!”

Just one look at the picture of the smiling, young Matthew holding his prize catch will tell you he agrees wholeheartedly!