SHAWNEE – Topeka resident, Bobby Parkhurst, was fishing at Pottawatomie State Fishing Lake No. 2 when the catch-of-a-lifetime came into contact with his lure. Little did Parkhurst know that what loomed beneath the surface, ready to strike, would break a Kansas state record set the very same month, nearly 60 years prior.
The enormous white crappie caught by Parkhurst on March 5, 2023, was taken with rod and reel and a minnow as bait. After inspection and measurement by John Reinke, assistant director of Fisheries for the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, the lunker catch was put on a certified scale where it was recorded as weighing 4.07 pounds – the equivalent of six cans of soup.
“As fisheries biologists, we get the chance to see a lot of big fish but this one is certainly for the books,” said Reinke. “This crappie measured in at 18 inches long and 14 inches in girth, so it truly deserves a spot on the state record list.”
The previous Kansas state record for white crappie was set in 1964 by Frank Miller of Eureka when he reeled in a 4.02-pound crappie that measured 17.5 inches long. Miller used a rod and reel and minnow, too.
Trophy catches such as these end up as a Kansas State Record if:
- The fish is caught by a licensed angler using legal means
- The fish is identified by a Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks district fisheries biologist or regional fisheries supervisor
- The fish is weighed on a certified scale prior to being frozen
- The fish is photographed, in color, and a state record application is filled out
- The mandatory 30-day waiting period has passed.
The 30-day waiting period for Parkhurst’s catch ends today, April 4, making his white crappie the biggest catch for the species in Kansas history. For now, that is.
Click HERE to see a complete list of current Kansas state record fish.
Caught a big fish but not quite a state record? Apply for a “Master Angler Award” and be recognized for your catch if it exceeds the measurements listed HERE.
For more on fishing in Kansas, visit ksoutdoors.com/Fishing.