A few more state record applications have piled up on my desk, most from the summer months, but one from this fall. Let me tell you about them. . . .
Rod & Reel
The first one I want to tell you about is a creek chub that was caught by 9-year old Hunter Pitt of Hastings. Hunter caught an 11 ounce, 12 inch creek chub from a drainage ditch in Dodge County on the 5th of July. You can see Hunter’s dad also caught a big creek chub that day, but Hunter’s was just a little bit bigger!
Hunter’s creek chub bested the old rod & reel creek chub state record by a whole ounce (a fish that was caught by another young angler as I recall). Now those are big creek chubs, but who knows, there might be an even bigger one out there someplace. I know they are nothing more than big, predacious minnows, but creek chubs can be a lot of fun to catch. They love worms or nightcrawlers as Hunter will tell you. I spent many an afternoon fishing for creek chubs with my cousin or buddies when I was a lot younger, even developed some tricks for getting them to bite! Never did catch any 12-inch, state records though!
I have one new surface-spearing record, a shortnose gar taken by Caleb Gardner of Norfolk. Caleb’s fish was 4 pounds 5 ounces, 33.25 inches long and was speared on July 6 at Gavins Point Dam. Caleb’s fish beat the old state record surface-speared shortnose gar by 6 ounces; that fish was also taken from the Missouri River.
There are several new bowfishing state records that have been taken in the past four months. I will begin with one that maybe should receive some kind of record for being able to hit such a small fish with an arrow. Logan Dietrich of Alliance found a spot on the Middle Loup River in Thomas County where he could stick a flathead chub with an arrow. Logan’s fish weighed 4 ounces and was 8 inches long.
I am pretty sure that is the first flathead chub we have had submitted for any kind of state record.
The second new record taken by archery is another small fish that took a dead-eye to hit. In this case Ryan Reynolds of Lexington found a 2 ounce, 7.25 inch alewife he arrowed at Elwood Reservoir on July 22.
Again, we have never had a bowfishing state record alewife until now.
If you think small, hard-to-hit fish are the only ones that Ryan Reynolds could arrow, well, you are wrong. On August 10 Ryan also shot a 3 pound 9 ounce, 18.5 inch smallmouth bass from Phillips Canyon Reservoir on the Tri-County canal system below Johnson.
Ryan’s fish beat out the existing archery smallmouth bass record by 4 ounces, a fish that was taken on the Missouri River in Cedar County back in 2004.
Most recently, on October 19, Scott Hebblethwaite of Paxton arrowed an 11 pound 12 ounce, 28.25 inch hybrid striped bass in the Sutherland Supply Canal.
Scott’s wiper beat the old archery record by exactly 3 pounds. That old record was a fish that was shot at Harlan County Reservoir back in 19997.
I saved the biggest to last. I do not know all the details, but I do know when the water level on the Platte River has gotten low the past couple of summers, Josh Kern, Jr. of Fremont has been stalking the river looking for big catfish. On July 11 this year he found a big blue catfish that he stuck with an arrow. Josh’s blue weighed 40 pounds 13 ounces and was 44 inches long.
I gotta laugh, Josh has his “game face” on. “Act like you been there before” comes to mind, and in Josh’s case I know it is the truth.
This picture was taken a little later, but I believe it gives you a better perspective on just how big that blue catfish was, as big as a couple of Nebraska boys.
Would you believe that we had no bowfishing record for blue catfish on the books before Josh’s fish? He has set the bar at a very respectable level.
Those are all I have for now. Spring and summer are typically when we see the most state record activity, but who knows? There could still be some fish taken yet this fall and we certainly have had some rod & reel state records taken through the ice as well. You never know, GO FISH!
Congratulations to all of these anglers, your state record certificates will be coming in the mail!