July 19, John Cook lands 51 pounder

July 19, John Cook lands 51 pounder

Local Plum Island fisherman John Cook landed his first, and hopefully not last, 51 pound 3 ounce striper yesterday. The monster had a girth of 27″! John’s well know around the island as a consummate chunk fisherman, knowing what spots to hit on which particular time of the tide. Well, he’s usually pretty productive, but not like yesterday when he dragged up this fish. The boat was anchored and John explained that he was about spooled, his captain let some rope out on the anchor to give a little slack, and then slowly John walked up to the bow and then back to the stern grabbing 10 feet of line at a time. The other boaters were polite and moved away when the they saw it was a big fish on the line. Eventually they got it to the boat and it took two of them to haul it over the gunnel. Take into consideration that this fish was caught at in the middle of the day, without a cloud in sight, and it makes it even more of a grand catch.

You’ll see in the second photo that the side fin of the bass is nearly as big as my hand. Enormous. And eye to eye was about 6″, the tail about 12.” It’s the first 50 we’ve weighed in since 2007, and John moves his photo from the small board to the gang of 50’s we have on the rafters.



We also weighed in a 32 pounder taken by kayak with a tube and worm. Also, the flounder fishing has been great right out at the south jetty, with a trio of guys limiting out yesterday.


Stickman is the resident web design guy at Surfland. We pay him in eels.

  • adam sirois
    Posted at 14:27h, 19 July

    catch of a lifetime! its a shame to see an 18-year-old fish killed to get on the rafters though.

    • admin
      Posted at 11:12h, 20 July

      I know what you mean. I asked a local sharpie about that point. Skip Montello noted that he doesn’t mind keeping a trophy fish because it’s past it’s reproductive prime. Smaller fish do most of the egg producing, and limiting the take on the fish in the 20 pound range would do more for the stock than limiting the taking of the largest fish. It’s a big debate, and every fisherman has to make his or her own decision.

      Personally I’d be pretty conflicted. Last year I caught my best fish, at 36 pounds or so, and I measured it and back in the water she went. Didn’t even get a picture cause I was alone and wanted to get her back in the water as soon as I could. In the 50 pound range I’d probably keep it. But it’s pretty sad killing a fish that weighs as much as a small child.

  • Tallman (Jeff)
    Posted at 11:09h, 20 July


  • adam sirois
    Posted at 12:04h, 21 July

    all good points. it is definitely a choice that each fisherman must make, and it is their choice and no one else’s. i have never caught a fish near that size so i will not pretend to know how it feels to make that decision, and i don’t mean to take away from John’s monster.

    with that said, the Mass Audubon society estimates that a fish over 40inches produces over 3million eggs, contrary to what Skip reported, while a juvenile produces around 500k.

    a neighbor recently landed a 50.5″ gem with a girth of 28″ in NH and opted to take pictures with a tape measure and return her to the water. with the state record in NH at 51″, that could be one of the biggest fish ever released in the state, pretty cool!

    while i know tradition is very coveted at Surfland, it would be very respectable if they opened up the rafters to fish that were caught, photographed with a tape measure, and released, as well as the fish they weigh in-store.

  • Matt Pullen
    Posted at 19:22h, 21 July

    “with the state record in NH at 51″, that could be one of the biggest fish ever released in the state, pretty cool!”

    You must mean 51 pounds. I used to guide up there and we’d catch a handful of fish over 50″ every season.

  • Cod Father
    Posted at 23:30h, 21 July

    The man caught a 50 pounder and has the right to do what ever he wants with it. If it were me it would be on my wall. How about saying congrats before getting all negative on the guy. Maybe he should have caught and released hundreds of micros and watch them float down the river belly up.

  • rachael
    Posted at 19:20h, 23 July

    Hi John,
    WOW!! That’s quite the big fish… GREAT JOB!!! I hope to see you soon.

  • Bare Bass
    Posted at 21:33h, 23 July

    Congratulations John for a terrific catch. I have personally fished with John and he is top notch. He releases 95% of his catches.I am so proud of you. Way to go you deserve it. Your biggest fan.

  • Ed Kelly
    Posted at 09:37h, 24 July

    congrats! on an awesome catch…..I’d be taking it home!

  • Tallman (Jeff)
    Posted at 18:37h, 27 July

    Umm any reports????

  • Claudia greene
    Posted at 20:43h, 31 July

    John What a fish good job.Fish are made to be caught and eaten do what you want John stand proud.Your sister.

  • mark greene
    Posted at 21:11h, 31 July

    I’ve been with john he knows how to catch the big ones ” way to go ” SAVE one for me. so when are we going back out?

  • William Daniel
    Posted at 07:12h, 06 August

    Just like Killing your Grandfather IMO, you wouldn’t do it just because he’s past his reproductive prime, would you?

    Take good pics and have it carved!

  • Peg Lucier
    Posted at 15:53h, 07 August

    Great job John!! Your uncle would have been proud of you!

  • pamela reed
    Posted at 08:51h, 12 August

    Hey John, Thats the smallest tuna Ive ever seen, hee hee. love pam

  • Fishing Gears discount codes
    Posted at 11:08h, 12 January

    That is an impressive catch.
    Must have been quite a challenge.
    Thanks for sharing!

  • Tony Ferriera
    Posted at 20:21h, 05 May

    That was a freaking monstrosity of a fish!!! Nice job! My Uncle is a fishing phenom folks!!!

  • Alexandra Cook
    Posted at 01:39h, 07 May

    John Cook is my father and I’ve grown up being on the water and fishing with him. He is extremely experienced in fishing. Anyone that knows him can tell you he is one of the best. He knows every great spot where the big fish hang and I am lucky enough to have learned these special places. I have never seen him keep keepers just above the required inches. He has always been respectful to the eco system. It is sad people are giving him hate for doing something that he loves. IMO, whenever we caught a fish, we would give some to people in our neighborhood that didn’t have as much money some or we would have a neighbor hood parties and a nice fish chowder or some other fish dish would be involved. We sometimes would invite friends and loved ones over for a bite to eat. The Cooks respect our catches and the life they had and I just hope that people would realize that these special catches can amazing bring people together more then you know. I miss you Plum Island and happy fishing to all!

Post A Comment