Teen catches record crappie
The spring of the record-setting teenagers continues in Illinois.
Fishing earlier this month in a Jefferson County farm pond between Centralia and Mount Vernon, Marcus Miller, 15, caught a 4-pound, 8.2-ounce crappie that should be certified as a state record soon. That the fish didn’t wind up as lunch, instead, is thanks to Miller’s grandfather, Herman Rowcliff.
Instead of filleting the fish, Grampa Rowcliff convinced Miller to have his slab weighed on a certified scale at Dan’s Meat Market in Centralia. Next came a call to Mike Hooe, a fisheries biologist with the Department of Natural Resources, who said Miller’s crappie is either a black crappie or hybrid crappie. DNA testing will determine which record the fish assumes. Actually, the fish breaks all three state crappie marks.
- The record black crappie is 4 pounds, 8 ounces, caught by John Hampton in Rend Lake on May 15, 1976.
- The record white crappie is 4 pounds, 7 ounces, caught by Kevin Dennis in a private pond in Morgan County on April 8, 1973.
- The record hybrid crappie is 2 pounds, 13 ounces, caught by Brett Larsen while ice fishing on Shabbona Lake in DeKalb County on March 9, 2007.
“It’s pretty cool if it’s a record,” Miller told Rod Kloeckner of the Belleville News-Democrat. “A lot of people have seen it. All they say is ‘That’s a big fish.’”
Miller caught his big crappie on a $20 Zebco reel and was using a nightcrawler as bait.
“Whenever it first snagged the line, we thought my line was going to break,” Miller told the News-Democrat. “I had some little line on there, nothing really big. Then my friend was out there fishing with me and he grabbed the line and helped pull it in.”
Click here to read Kloeckner’s entire story on Miller’s record-setting papermouth.
Miller’s fish should be the third state-record set by a teen angler so far in 2008. Earlier this spring, teenage brothers John and Andrew Chione caught two likely state-record suckers fishing on the Fox River.