Oregon Angler Lands Potential World-Record Monkeyface Prickleback

by Vern Evans

A world record is now pending for angler Rebecca Jones of Tillamook, Oregon, after she caught a 4.8-pound, 28-inch monkeyface prickleback on April 1 from Barview Jetty near Garibaldi. Her fish beats out the current IGFA all-tackle world-record monkeyface prickleback by 1.4 pounds, making it a shoe-in for the title. Angler Todd Pietsch caught that fish on June 29, 2008, in Yaquina Bay near Newport, Oregon, roughly 66 miles south on the Oregon coast as the crow flies.

Jones had spent the morning digging sand shrimp and had hoped to hook into a few rockfish for dinner, a press release from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says. (The waters of the Pacific Northwest are home to a few dozen different species of rockfish, many of which are notoriously delicious.)

“I’m relatively new to fishing and was losing bait off my line, but I kept at it,” Jones said. “Within an hour of fishing, I felt another hit. It wasn’t a hard fight, the fish came right up.”

The monkeyface prickleback, also commonly known as the monkeyface eel, only grows to around 6 pounds and 30 inches long, which means Jones’ fish was at the upper end of the species’ size range. These fish exist within a tiny home range that rarely exceeds 15 feet in any direction, ODFW says. 

“It was a very strong fish though,” Jones says. “I had to sit on it to get the hook out.”

Once Jones realized what she had caught, she weighed and measured the fish and started researching the record. She is in the process of submitting the fish to the IGFA for certification. (Unlike neighbor to the north Washington, Oregon does not track saltwater fishing records, which is why neither Pietsch nor Jones have been recognized by ODFW specifically for their catches.)

Read Next: State-Record Rockfish Could Have Outweighed the World Record

Even though Jones didn’t get her rockfish dinner, monkeyface pricklebacks are also considered very good eating by the Pacific anglers familiar with them. 

“I’m passionate about fishing, hunting, crabbing, and clamming. And encouraging women to have and use these skills to pass on to the next generation,” Jones said. “Taking advantage of the opportunities Oregon offers gives you self-confidence and self-efficiency.”

Read the full article here

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