Crappie don’t get much bigger than this slab caught by David Burruss at California’s Clear Lake on Feb. 17. Burruss’s 4-pound, 5.3-ounce black crappie set a new California state record, besting a mark that has stood for more than 45 years.
The previous California record was caught in 1975 by Wilma Honey at New Hogan Lake. It weighed 4 pounds 1 ounce. The world record is a 5-pound, 7-ounce Tennessee fish that was caught from a private pond in 2018.
Over the years, Clear Lake has gained a reputation nationally for producing giant largemouth bass, and according to a report in the Lake County Record-Bee, Burruss thought he was looking at bass on his depthfinder when he hooked the giant crappie on an underspin paired with a 4-inch soft-plastic shiner.
“I thought I had hooked a nice bass until I got it up to the boat and saw that it was a giant crappie,” Burruss told the Record-Bee.
The fat fish measured 17.71 inches in length and had incredible girth of 16 inches. It was suspended at 6 to 10 feet over a 25-foot bottom with two other fish about the same size, Burruss told Field & Stream.
Clear Lake is now home to both the black and white crappie records. The California white crappie record of 4 pounds, 8 ounces was caught at Clear Lake in 1971.
David Burruss owns Clearlake Outdoors in Lakeport, Cali. Check them out at clearlakeoutdoors.com.