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No fish story, he reels in 62-pounder






Bronx fisherman Jeff Montalvo shows off a 62-pound striped bass he caught in Hempstead Harbor on Monday night.

This big one didn't get away.
A Bronx man reeled in a whopping 62-pound striped bass from Hempstead Harbor Monday night, leaving local anglers awestruck.

"You just don't see fish that big," Jeff Montalvo, 31, said yesterday as he posed with his catch in Jack's Bait Shop in City Island. "This was a once-in-a-lifetime chance."

Montalvo's lunker, caught with bunker chunks, amazed all who saw it, but didn't test the state record for a striper caught in salt water. Bob Rocchetta landed a 76-pounder off East Setauket back in 1981.

Still, the 4-1/2-foot sea monster gave Montalvo all he could handle after he and some friends went out after work aboard the private boat El Nino. Soon after they sailed from City Island to the harbor and dropped their lines in 35-foot waters, Montalvo felt a powerful strike.

"A fish started tugging on my line, and it sure did not want to get caught," Montalvo said. "It really took us for a ride."

The three men toiled for a half-hour to pull the behemoth from the brine.

"Right away we decided to call it a night and head back to land," Montalvo said.

Yesterday, Montalvo displayed his prize in the bait store by draping it over a cooler full of ice. Fishermen came and went, congratulating Montalvo and swapping fish stories.

"This is so great. It's a little bit of history right here," said Jean Cedeno. "We're just glad it happened to someone we know. Now we can talk about it for years."
 

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Wow!!! :eek: ;)
 

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The fish looks spawned out. That head is enormous. I'll bet it would have pushed 70 a month ago. I'd have kept it too.
 
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