state record fish and record hunting fishermen

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Kanethemoose12345's picture
state record fish and record hunting fishermen

Catching a state record fish is a goal of many anglers, and some have even gone as far as to call themselves "record hunters". I have recently been intrigued by this avenue of fishing, and I was wondering if anyone here holds or has held a state or world record in the past. What was it? Were you trying to set the record or was it an accident? Was there any reward for catching the record? What was the process of turning in the record like? Just trying to learn more about this area of fishing.

Beverly riffles
State Record

Ive never come remotely close to a state record. Growing up I had a very good friend who was nuts about fishing. I ran into him about 20 years after high school. He had caught the biggest registered Muskie in Wisconsin that year and won a boat and trailer if I remember correctly. It was the last day of the contest and weather was miserable. That’s always impressed me as the people who excel. They don’t let weather, a bad cold, bugs, or other distractions stop them, they just get out there and do it. 


andy's picture
Golden redhorse record

I held the Minnesota state record for golden redhorse from 2007-2014.  This was also the all-tackle World Record during that time with the FFHOF.  It was a heck of a lot of fun.  Since my reign ended the record has been broken numerous times, almost yearly.  Here is a snippet from a newspaper about it -


I believe I still hold the 6 lb test line class world record. 

FishNerd's picture
A few

I held the Wisconsin state record golden shiner for nine days (an article in the Milwaukee journal sentinel may or may not have set off a chain reaction of more anglers hunting for more obscure records), I registered the inaugural wi state record golden redhorse (which lasted about a month), and I registered the first world record fixed line longnose gar ( which I don't know whether or not I still hold). There are other fish I could have registered but I didn't bother going through the paper work

2020 goals:
Greater Redhorse (), Lake Trout (), Lake Whitefish (x), Chinook Salmon (), Coho Salmon (x)

FP4LifesDad's picture
My son FishingPals4Life holds

My son FishingPals4Life holds the current MN shortnose gar state record.  We were fishing for them for his scrapbook of MN species.  When he caught it we were super excited because it was the first and remains the only one we'd ever seen.  Took it to shore to measure and weigh it before a release and realized after a quick internet check it was the new state record, we sat on shore with it in a net still in the water so she could breathe because he wasn't sure if he wanted to kill her to verify a state record.  I convinced him it was a once in a lifetimer and then the chaos of verification started.  He received a cool plaque from the state, a bunch of publicity, and I had her mounted (one of only two skin mounts in the house) we both prefer replicas and live release.  He's very proud of it, but I can tell sometimes when he looks at her he wishes she was still alive.

tom's picture

Every now and then, I pull what would be a state record shorthead redhorse from the WI river. Got a 10 in. silver chub full of eggs once too.  Never went through the process of registering a fish though. One o' these days....

RoughFish's picture
I’ve caught 3 fish that would

I’ve caught 3 fish that would have been state records but turned in none of them as I didn’t want the fish to die. Shortnose gar, Spotted gar, and flier sunfish. I didn’t turn in the flier (which I think I could have gotten weighed and back safely) out of respect for the guy who shared the spot to catch them at with me (he doesn’t want them to die either). There’s no state record for many individual species such as any of the redhorses, just a “sucker” record (which I believe is a river redhorse). “Buffalo” is listed as a record but not any specific species etc.......Indiana really needs to get with it on polishing up the record book and developing some kind of master angler program.

Susquehannock's picture
State records

Yeah, PA has a "suckers" record, too. The only fish I've ever caught that could've been state record class was a giant fallfish, but we don't even have a record for them...


Casey Shanaberger
Casey Shanaberger's picture
3 fish

I've had 3 fish that would possibly be records. A couple years back, I caught a creek chub that was 14" and easily over a pound. Just a few days ago, I had a friend tell me that the world record for creek chub was vacant (IA doesn't have a record category for creek chub). Last summer I caught a 9" pumpkinseed that would qualify for the IA state record as well. I also landed a 22" shorthead while wading a creek. I knew I probably could've submitted that one, but since I was a 2 mile wade from my car and didn't want to risk killing the fish, I just released him.


To me I'd rather have the knowledge of knowing that I'm able to catch state records, but still, if the opportunity presented itself for me to be able to get a record without killing the fish, I'd be glad to submit it.

"I swear if you catch another drum"

blackbullhead's picture
Record hunt

I held my state's yellow bullhead record for a bit less than a year. Bullheads aren't too highly regarded in Montana and I realized most anglers didn't bother to differentiate yellows from the more common black bullheads. One year I stumbled upon a lake that held good-sized yellows that were more or less left alone, so I packed a cooler and planned to catch a record. On my second night fishing, I caught two record class fish (for good measure) and put them on ice. Unfortunately, I was on a work trip and ended up busy for the next day and a half. By the time I got the fish to a certified scale they were smelling pretty rank, but despite a fair amount of dehydration, the bigger fish was still a couple tenths of a pound over the existing record. The state sent me a neatly-embossed certificate with a Joseph Tomelleri yellow bullhead print on it. 

The very next year, I saw my record had been broken, but I was particularly peeved to see from a press release that the registered fish was a black bullhead (baring his black chin barbels for all to see). Apparently not even our state agency could tell these fish apart. I thought about kicking up a fuss, but eventually decided it wouldn't have any bearing on my own enjoyment of bullhead fishing. I was also kind of glad to see my lake fall back into anonymity. 

Since then the record's changed hands a couple more times and fortunately an actual yellow bullhead is again holding the spot.

Kanethemoose12345's picture
Very cool!

It's a shame the the fish was registered incorrectly, but bullhead of any sort is a sweet record. One of my favorite fish to catch. Very cool still, and congratulations on the catch.

I am a hunter of many species. Not a very good hunter of many species, but a hunter nonetheless.

Kanethemoose12345's picture

That's very cool, not many people can honestly claim that they may have several records to their name. Wisconsin has a fairly new live release category, but unfortunately it's only open to a certain few select species. Maybe one day it will open up to all species.

I am a hunter of many species. Not a very good hunter of many species, but a hunter nonetheless.