Indiana Angler’s Jumbo Perch Breaks 43-Year-Old State Record

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The Indiana Department of Natural Resources’ (IDNR) long-standing record for yellow perch was shattered last month, according to an IDNR Facebook post from May 1. Angler Blas Lara caught the new record fish—a 3-pound, 2-ounce jumbo perch—while participating in the Mayor’s Fishing Derby in Hammond, Indiana on the shores of Lake Michigan. It outweighed the old record fish, caught in 1981, by nearly a full pound.

Yellow perch are a native species in Lake Michigan. They’re popular with anglers because they’re easy catch and delicious to eat. While the lake’s perch numbers have dipped in recent years, trophy-size fish have become more prevalent, IDNR says.

“Perch growth rates have accelerated over the past few years, with many reaching true trophy sizes at younger ages than in the past,” said IDNR Lake Michigan fisheries research biologist Ben Dickinson. “Many anglers have been catching true ‘jumbo’ perch, in the 14- to-17-inch size class over the past two years.”

The previous Indiana record was caught in a gravel pit in Vigo County by fisherman Roy W. Burkel Jr., about three hours south of the area where Lara caught his fish. It weighed 2 pounds, 8 ounces.

Burkel Jr.’s record was the second Indiana fishing record to fall this year. Back in early March, tournament angler Rex Remington boated a new state-record smallmouth bass while fishing Monroe Lake near Bloomington. Remington’s record de-throned a smallie caught back in 1992.

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The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) all-tackle world record for yellow perch is the oldest IGFA freshwater record still on the books. That fish weighed 4 pounds, 3 ounces. It was caught by Dr. C. Abbot of Bordentown, New Jersey near the end of the Civil War.



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