Little Lunkers

Despite their diminutive appearance, two tiny fish recently
landed the anglers who caught them in their respective state record
books.

Kid Catches Record, uh, Minnow

There may be a bright future for Maxfield JonasKrueger as a
fisheries biologist. That’s because the 13-year-old from Madison,
Wis. correctly identified the minnow he yanked from Fowler Lake in
July as a golden shiner, a common baitfish.

Further, young Max knew enough about golden shiners to realize his
minnow was a real lunker-relatively speaking, of course.

JonasKrueger was using worms to catch panfish when the oversized
minnow went for his hook. And now the impressive 4.8-ounce (or .03
pounds), 9.75-inch fish is officially the new state record for the
species.

Who knew there was a record for minnows in Wisconsin? Max did,
evidently.

Max’s fish crushed the standing record, an 8.5-inch, 3.4-ounce fish
caught in 2009 from Dexter Lake in Wood County by John Kubisiak of
Rhinelander.

The catch also made Max, an eighth-grader at Sherman Middle School
in Madison, the youngest fish record-holder in Wisconsin.

So, just how did Max know the fish he caught off the Fowler Lake
dock that day was special?

“I just really love fishing and want to learn as much as possible
about fish and how to catch them,” he told outdoor editor Paul A.
Smith of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “I read about all
kinds of fish, so I knew it was a very big shiner.”

Max’s fish was certified by Wisconsin Department of Natural
Resources fisheries supervisor Randy Schumacher, who positively
identified the shiner and checked it for “foreign substances.”

Behemoth Pygmy

The state of Montana is home to three species of whitefish in its
lakes and streams–the mountain whitefish, lake whitefish and pygmy
whitefish.

As the name implies, the pygmy is the smallest of the three.

Pygmy whitefish are native to Montana, residing near the bottom of
deep lakes and feeding on zooplankton and insects.

Over the winter, ice angler Eric Tullett of Kalispell tied the
state record for the species, hauling the fish up from a depth of
80 feet while using a glow hook and maggot for bait.

Mark Deleray, a biologist with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks
positively identified and measured the fish after it was weighed on
a certified scale.

The behemoth tipped the scales at (ready for this?) a whopping 3.7
ounces. That’s .23 pounds, in case you’re interested.

“My arm is still hurting,” the angler joked hours after reeling in
the massive pygmy.

Here at Offbeat Outdoors, we would surmise that massive pygmy
qualifies as an oxymoron in its purest form.

Categories: J.R. Absher

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *