Pre-Spawn Fish Break State Records

Along with blooms on the trees and frogspawn in the ponds, the annual rites of spring include an uptick in anglers reporting heavyweight catches.

A spate of recent record catches marks the transition to longer days, warmer weather and spring-spawning species putting on weight. In Indiana, an angler caught a monster 8-pound, 4-ounce smallmouth bass that crushed the existing state record by a pound. In Kentucky and Georgia, two anglers boated big yellow perch. The Kentucky perch set a new state record, while the Georgia fish earned the angler a tie for the heaviest perch ever caught in the Peach State.

In Indiana, angler Rex Remington caught his big pre-spawn smallie on March 3 at Monroe Reservoir. The fish was weighed on certified scales in the presence of Indiana DNR officials before being released. The new record was adopted a couple weeks later and is listed at 8 pounds, 4 ounces, beating a record that had stood since 1992. The all-tackle world record smallmouth weighed 11 pounds, 15 ounces. It was caught from Dale Hollow Lake, Tennessee in 1955.

Smaller, but no-less-impressive, Lynn Bumgardner caught his 1.58-pound Kentucky-record yellow perch at Lake Barkley on March 2.  It beat the existing 1.44-pound record caught in 2010. He was trolling grubs for crappie and knew he had a heavy fish when it hit, but he didn’t realize it was a potential record perch until it surfaced. The fish was 14.25 inches long.

They must grow perch bigger in Georgia. On Feb. 18, Emerson Mulhall caught a huge 16-inch-long, 2-pound, 9-ounce yellow perch that tied the existing state record set in 2013. Mulhall, who usually bass fishes at north Georgia’s Lake Burton was initially confused, because the fish he’d hooked didn’t fight like a bass. When he realized it was a perch, his father convinced him to get off the lake and go get it weighed on certified scales.

The all-tackle world record yellow perch is reported by IGFA to have weighed 4 pounds, 3 ounces. That fish was caught in New Jersey in 1865.

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