Been a long time since I mentioned what is new on the state record front. Got three new state records to tell you about. Let’s start with a couple of rod & reel records:
The first to hit my desk this year came back in April. Scott McGuire from Grant pushed our tiger trout record even higher, just short of 5 pounds now, 4 pounds 14 ounces.
Scott’s fish was 24 inches long, and was caught from the North Platte River below Lake Ogallala. He caught the fish on a fly.
Over time our tiger trout rod & reel state record continues to get larger and I do not think we have reached the apex yet. How much bigger can a tiger trout get in Nebraska? Well, world records for those fish are well into double digits. Given good water levels and flows, I believe the waters including and below Lake Ogallala could potentially grow tiger trout up to 10 pounds. We are halfway there now, and I am betting our tiger trout rod & reel record could go at least a couple, three pounds larger. We will see. . . .
The next state record form that came in was in May, it also was for a fish caught on rod & reel, this time a common carp. Robert Busk of Blair caught a 34 pound 13 ounce common carp from a private lake in Washington County. The fish was caught on a nightcrawler.
I have something really cool to tell you about Robert’s fish: He had the record certified at our Ak-Sar-Ben Aquarium at the Schramm Education Center south of Gretna. The fish was kept alive and is now on display at the aquarium!
Sure it is a carp, but it is a BIG carp! The fact is that big carp are some of the most challenging fish to catch. Robert told me he had caught some other monster carp from the same private lake this spring, but this one was the largest. I am impressed!
His fish beat our old common carp, rod & reel record by just over one pound. A record that had stood since 1983!
I saved the biggest for last. Our archery paddlefish season will be closing this coming weekend, June 30. As most of you know there has been and continues to be A LOT of water coming down the Missouri River. That has made the archery paddlefishing a bit of a challenge, but folks are adapting and being successful. Fish in rivers, especially fish in big rivers, move, a lot, and oftentimes those movements occur during periods of high water. In previous years when we have had high water and high flows on the Missouri River, we have seen some monstrous paddlefish show up in Nebraska waters. Those exceptional fish likely traveled hundreds of miles during high flows, and some of the biggest probably originated in SoDakota reservoirs.
Another one showed up during our current archery paddlefish season, Andrew Myer from Norfolk arrowed an 89 pounder on June 14.
Of course that paddlefish was taken on the stretch of Missouri River open for the archery season, Cedar County for that particular behemoth. Andrew’s fish beat the old archery paddlefish record by 3 pounds; another record that had been on the books for a long time, since 1972!
Some other vital statistics on that big paddlefish: It was 5 feet 10.5 inches from tip of snout to tip of tail, 54 inches (4.5 feet) fork length from the front of the eye, and had a 34.5 inch girth at it’s thickest.
As I always do with these state record updates, you can see a full list of Nebraska’s state record fish HERE. Take a few minutes and look over that list, be familiar with it and let yourself dream. Anytime your line is in the water, you never know. . . !
Just in case, take a few minutes to also familiarize yourself with the state record rules which can be found in every copy of the Fishing Guide.
Congratulations, Scott, Robert, and Andrew! Thanks for your patience, your state record certificates will be coming in the mail.