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New York angler reels in 60-pound striped bass on Hudson River

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A new haul in the state of New York broke the current record for the largest inland striped bass, a government agency has announced, and it is even the first to be listed in a recently launched mobile app for fishing. It was not an easy catch, though.

It seemed an ordinary day for Eric Lester of Campbell Hall to fish alone by the Newburgh Bay. As he waited for his catch of the day, the rod was abruptly tugged by a very strong force underwater and Lester then knew he had a big fish coming. In the middle of the bout, Lester's reel detached from his rod, which he was able to fix, and he then found the line tangled around his prop.

Amid the "comedy of errors," Lester managed to haul the fish out of the water and its sheer size pleasantly shocked him. Lester caught a whopping 60-pound female striped bass, its length about 53.4 inches and its girth measuring 33 inches. It was big catch indeed. Lester's fish surpassed the record set in 2007, when a striped bass that weighed about 55 pounds was hauled in off the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge.

Thrilled with his unexpected catch, Lester then entered the details of his striped bass in the Angler Achievement Awards Program. As per New York's Department of Environmental Conservation, entries must meet three criteria to be able to qualify for the official recognition. These are the Catch and Release, Annual Award and State Record.

"This is a remarkable new record catch," said DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens. "I congratulate Mr. Lester on his success and determination in catching the largest recorded inland Striped Bass in New York and encourage others to take advantage of the many outstanding fishing opportunities New York has to offer."

The Morone saxatilis, or more commonly known as striped bass, striper or rockfish, could be easily recognized by the horizontal stripes on its silver-colored body. Normally, these fish grow to about 48 inches and could weigh at least 50 pounds. Females are mostly the bigger ones and they feed on small crabs, squid and lobster. Striped bass can live up to 30 years and Lester's catch, according to biologists at DEC, is likely on its 20th year now.

Lester's fish is also the first in the new list of records to be noted on the recently launched free New York Fish & Wildlife App, which is designed to provide updates about fishing, wildlife watching, hunting and any outdoor activity enjoyed in the state. The app is now ready for use and can be downloaded in iTunes App Store and the Android Market.

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