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RALEIGH, N.C. (Sept. 28) - For the second time in less than three months, the longnose gar state record has been broken - this time by U.S. Marine Sebastian Lankiewicz of Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville.

Lankiewicz landed his record-breaker on June 29 while fishing at Rock Quarry Lakes in Maysville. He was using a 7-foot Quantum Boca spinning rod, a Shimano Stradic 2500FH reel and a Rapala crankbait lure. The fish weighed 19 pounds, 10 ½ ounces and measured 49 ¾ in length.

An avid bass angler who would like to turn pro one day, Lankiewicz was fishing for largemouth bass when he noticed a big splash and a fish floating belly up nearby.

"I got over to where I saw the splash and there was this fish floating upside down; it looked like the longnose gar was trying to eat the bass," Lankiewicz said. "So I just tossed out my line to see what would happen."

After a 20-minute fight, he reeled in the gar on 16-pound test. Lankiewicz's catch surpassed the previous longnose gar record, held since April 16 by James Thomas Bryant of Henderson, by a mere 2 ½ ounces.

To qualify for a state record, anglers must have caught the fish on a hook and line, must have the fish weighed on a certified scale witnessed by one observer, have the fish positively identified by a qualified expert from the Commission and submit an application with a full, side-view photo of the fish.

For a list of all freshwater fish state records in North Carolina, visit the Wildlife Resources Commission's Web site, www.ncwildlife.org. For more information on fishing in North Carolina's public, inland waters, call the Commission's Division of Inland Fisheries, (919) 707-0220.
 
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