New Jersey Teen Hooks Possible Record Striped Bass

A 13-year-old girl from Vineland, NJ says she doesn't like handling bait, just catching fish. That's pretty evident after she hauled in what may be a new femail junior world record 58-pound striper. From this story on philly.com:

_Juliana Merighi may have set a world record when she recently pulled in a striped bass that had her fishing-loving father and brother looking on with envy. But it's hard to say whether the soft-spoken and diminutive 13-year-old Vineland resident knows what a big deal that is in the world of fishing.

Still, Juliana Merighi has her priorities. "I don't like touching bait," she said. "I like catching fish."

Merighi did that Oct. 24, when she pulled in a striped bass weighing more than 58 pounds from Delaware Bay waters. The International Game Fish Association, or IGFA, is now checking to see whether that fish , which was also 54 inches long and had a 32-inch girth, is a junior female world record.
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_Her father, Tom Merighi, said it could be a few months before the organization knows for sure if it's a record.

"They don't just take your word for it," he said.

Officials with the IGFA said the listed female junior record is a 47-pound striped bass caught in the waters off of North Wildwood in May 2006. A pending junior male record of 60 pounds is in the works. That fish was caught in Connecticut waters in July.

The overall world record for the largest striped bass is almost 79 pounds. That fish was caught off Atlantic City in September 1982.

Tom Merighi said he's trying to convince his daughter how guys who have fished for decades have been trying to land the fish that will get them into the so-called 50-50 club. That's reserved for someone who has caught a fish that's at least 50 pounds and at least 50 inches long._