We are half way through 2013 already. I have a few state record applications that have accumulated on my desk, time to tell you about them.
Let me start with a couple of European rudd caught from Box Butte Reservoir. Rudd are an exotic species that are closely related to our native golden shiners. Rudd were spread across the country a few years back as many bait shops sold them. We have a healthy population of those baitfish in Box Butte Reservoir.
Hunter Schaefer of Alliance was surface-spearing on May 10 when he gigged a 2-pound rudd. That will be the first rudd we have ever recognized as a surface spearfishing state record. Sorry, I do not have a good picture of that fish to show you.
The second rudd I do have a picture of. This fish was taken on hook & line by Voradeth Sayaloune of Chadron on May 14. Voradeth caught his 3 pound 3 ounce record on a jig. The previous hook & line record rudd was also taken from Box Butte in 2010 and weighed 2 pounds 12 ounces. This new record pushes that bar almost a half-pound higher–a significant jump for a fish that maxes out at only a few pounds.
The next one I want to tell you about is an impressive fish. Taylor Foral of Omaha caught a longnose gar on hook & line, on live bait that will be a new state record. Taylor caught his fish on May 11 from the Platte River in Sarpy County. Now here are the vital statistics on Taylor’s fish; it was 55 1/2 inches long and weighed 23 pounds 11 ounces. That gar was long enough that it took two guys to hold it!
Taylor’s longnose gar shattered the old record by 3 pounds; a record had been on the books for 12 years.
I have another gar to tell you about; this one a shortnose gar taken by Joey Lorenz of Friend. Joey arrowed his 9 pound 6 ounce gar from Harlan County Reservoir on June 3. His fish was 41 inches long and beat the old bowfishing shortnose gar record by almost 2 full pounds.
Next are a couple of underwater spearfishing records. The first was a smallmouth buffalo taken by Cory Johnson of Battle Creek. Cory took his 23 pound 13 ounce buff from a private lake in Madison County on May 19. His fish bested the underwater spearfishing record for smallmouth buffalo that had been on the books since 1982, and Cory’s fish beat that old record by over 10 pounds!
If you look through our list of underwater spearfishing state record fish ( http://outdoornebraska.ne.gov/fishing/pdfs/recordfish.pdf ), you will see Dustin Noble’s name throughout the list. It is no surprise that Dustin has sent in another application for a fish taken by underwater spearfishing; this time Dustin speared a 41 pound 4 ounce common carp from a private sandpit in Dawson County. Dustin took that fish on June 2.
Dustin bettered his own underwater spearfishing state record with that fish. His previous underwater spearfishing record common carp was taken in 2003 and this time he pushed the bar almost 3.5 pounds higher. That is a HUGE common carp!
Lastly, I have an unusual fish to tell you about, a tiger trout. Tiger trout are brown trout X brook trout hybrids. We have NOT stocked any tiger trout in Nebraska waters but we have seen a few tiger trout that have been produced by hybridization of brown and brook trout in the wild. All of those fish have come from Soldier Creek northwest of Ft. Robinson. We have had a hook & line tiger trout state record on the books since 2006, but now we have a bigger one! Scott Johnson of Chadron caught a 13 1/4 inch, 12 ounce tiger trout from Soldier Creek on May 21. Scott caught his fish on a fly rod using a pheasant tail nymph. His tiger trout doubled the hook & line record that was on the books.
Here is a better look at that fish; they are a beautiful fish.
Congratulations to all of those anglers. We will get the paperwork moving and get state record certificates in the mail.
I am sure there will be some more state record applications that hit my desk in the coming months. Take a minute to familiarize yourself with the state record rules. You can see a copy of those rules and a Master Angler/State Record application form in any copy of the 2013-2014 Fishing Guide, http://www.outdoornebraska.ne.gov/fishing/guides/fishguide/pdf/FishGuide.pdf . I can tell you that every year I hear a few sad stories from anglers who believe they would have had a state record fish if they had only known what they needed to do to have that catch certified as a record. I know most anglers never expect to catch a state record fish, but you just never know. If you have a line in the water, you have a chance!