Damien Cook Snakehead

Courtesy of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources

CAMBRIDGE, Md. - A northern snakehead caught over the summer in Dorchester County now holds the world record at 21 pounds.

According to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the International Game Fish Association, Damien Cook of Rhodesdale caught the behemoth on July 5th. At 21-pounds, the fish measured more than 36 inches long and was certified on a scale from Kool Ice Seafood in Cambridge. 

The fish originally shattered Maryland records before going on to take the global title with the International Game Fish Association. The previous Maryland record was held by a 19.9-pound specimen caught in 2018 in Charles County, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

“Honestly I thought it was just your average 30-inch snakehead when I first hooked the fish,” Cook said. ”It pulled hard but I had the advantage of it being close and I got it in the net pretty quickly.”

Northern snakeheads are an invasive species and have become a popular target in sportfishing, which the Department of Natural Resources encourages to control their spread. The Department also urges anglers to kill all snakeheads they catch.

More information about snakeheads is available on the Department of Natural Resources website. 


This article, originally published on July 7th, 2023, has been updated to reflect that the northern snakehead now holds both the Maryland and world records.