Kansas State Record Cheater Gets Busted!

This x-ray image shows the two ball bearings that were inside the crappie’s gut. Photograph courtesy Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks

A Kansas angler recently busted for stuffing ball bearings into a slab crappie will not be prosecuted, but his state record has been revoked.

Back in March of 2023, Bobby Parkhurst, of Topeka, Kansas, caught a big white crappie on a live minnow at a Pottawatomie State Fishing Lake. The fish weighed 4.07 pounds on certified scales and was quickly certified by the Kansas Department of Parks and Wildlife as a new state record, replacing a 4.02-pound mark that has stood for nearly 60 years since 1964.

“As fisheries biologists, we get the chance to see a lot of big fish, but this one is certainly for the books,” said KDPW’s John Reinke at the time. “This crappie measured in at 18 inches long and 14 inches in girth, so it truly deserves a spot on the state record list.”
As it turns out, the fish and the angler did not deserve a spot in the record books. Thanks to a tipster and some excellent sleuthing by KDPW, Parkhurst got busted. His fish was seized and X-rayed, and two ball bearings were found in its gut, according to reporting by Outdoor Life.

A close-up view of Parkhurst’s crappie that was initially confirmed as a Kansas state record and then removed from the record book. Photograph courtesy KDWP

The old state record of 4.02 pounds has been reinstated, but the local county attorney has declined to prosecute Parkhurst.

Read Outdoor Life’s report HERE.

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