A bow hunter in southeastern Pennsylvania is now the world record holder.
Jeremy Gibb, 40, of Camp Hill now holds the title of catching the biggest butterfly ray with a fly fishing setup.
He was fishing on June 30 off Indian River Bay in Delaware when he encountered the big fish with his friends Corey Brossman and Aaron Brossman of the Brossman Boys Bowfishing Guide Service.
Ray is 7 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 222.5 pounds. She beat the Bowfishing Association of America world record of 222.1 lbs caught by Nick Sampson on August 8, 2021 in Maryland.
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Pete Gregoire, record keeper of the American Bowfishing Association, confirmed on July 15 that the Gripe’s Ray has been certified as the world record catch for Delaware.
“The record has been broken many times over the last four or five years,” he said of the growing interest from anglers in saltwater fishing. “More working hours contribute to more opportunities for fishermen.”
Gregoire said his organization has been certifying records for 20 years: “Every year, there’s an increase in the amount of interest and the amount of opportunity to shoot records across the United States. It’s great to see anglers on the East Coast, especially in saltwater, the success and ability On bringing in fish like Jeremy.”
Gipe is an experienced angler with a previous butterfly best beam of 153 lbs.
“I’ve been boat fishing since I was a teenager,” he said of going several times a year to carp on Pennsylvania streams. He spends his summers on the beach in Delaware and becomes friends with the Brosman family who are based in Dagsboro, Sussex County.
“We’ve been out a few times,” he said, including the time Corey Brosman set the world record at 204 pounds just over a year ago. Then this record was broken again in 2021.
The water was rough and stormy when the fishing began on June 30. Gibb said they saw a bluefish, and their boat was far offshore where they don’t usually see a butterfly ray.
He said of seeing a flash in the water – I thought it was a blue fish, and then the triangle shape that pointed to a large ray.
When the fish turned from the boat, Gipe fired his arrow and fired a clean shot, striking the fish in the head. The beam popped out of the water, allowing two other bow hunters also on the boat and Corey Brossman to make a follow-up shot before he swam back about 50 yards. The heavy creature then returned to the boat as the group managed to drag it onto the deck with spears and spears. Fishing darts are attached to ropes to allow anglers to roll fish.
“It doesn’t get much easier for the end result,” he said of swimming directly toward her ship.
They were impressed by the size of the fish, and Corey Brosman, who recently moved a 180-pound class beam, said they needed to weigh this fish because it was so much bigger so far.
“We broke the world record,” Gibb said as he looked at the final measurements.
The catch ended up creating about 80 pounds of meat. “I absolutely love them,” Gibb said of eating stingrays. He said it tastes like crab and can be prepared in a variety of ways, such as pulled pork. He said they also fry it up and make chili and spinach dip and stuffed mushrooms. It is also a good ingredient in french fries and nachos.
Parts of the skin were frozen and used as bait for lobster fishing. “Whatever we can cut pretty much, we use,” Gibb said.
The stingray is a popular sport fish in Delaware. Butterfly rays are always in season and the state has no creel limit.
Brian Webke is an outdoors columnist for the USA TODAY Network in Pennsylvania. Follow him on social media @whipkeyoutdoors.