New state record speckled trout certified by North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries

Published 11:58 am Monday, February 21, 2022

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The North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries has certified a new state record speckled trout (Cynoscion nebulosus) that bests a fish that held the title for more than 60 years.

Todd Spangler, of Merritt, caught the 12-pound, 8-ounce fish in the lower Neuse River in Pamlico County on February 9. The previous state record speckled trout weighed 12 pounds, 4 ounces and was caught off Wrightsville Beach in 1961.

The International Game Fish Association All Tackle World Record spotted seatrout stands at 17 pounds, 7 ounces and was caught in 1995 off Ft. Pierce, Fla.

speckled trout

Courtesy NCDMF

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Spangler’s fish measured 33.5 inches total length (from the tip of the snout to the tip of the compressed tail) and had an 18-inch girth.

He caught it with a Daiwa Procyon reel and custom-built spinning rod. He used a Z-Man jerk shad soft plastic bait with a 20-pound braid.  For more information on state record fish, go to the division’s State Saltwater Records webpage or contact the North Carolina Saltwater Fishing Tournament staff at