I have a couple, three state record applications on my desk. Time to give an update. . . .
We usually do not have a lot of state record fish caught ice-fishing, but it is not unusual to have one or two. I say it often, again, you just never know what might bite on the end of your line, even when you are ice-fishing! In the order that they were caught:
The first one was caught on the second day of 2022. Levi Kieckhafer of Hooper was running some tip-ups on Summit Lake when he caught a 1 pound 9 ounce yellow bass. Levi was using a minnow for bait and his fish was 13 inches long.
Let me say a few things about yellow bass. Yellow bass are definitely an unwanted, nuisance species in Nebraska waters. They are a close relative of white perch, another invasive species that has caused nothing but problems in Nebraska waters. I have no doubt that yellow bass are present in Summit because of an illegal introduction. DO NOT MOVE FISH AROUND! For now, the yellow bass in Summit have a chance to grow large enough that anglers might like to catch them. They might even grow to state record size. Unfortunately, I fear that over time yellow bass numbers in Summit will explode and they will eventually dominate that fishery. When that time comes, the only solution will be a chemical renovation and re-stocking.
So, I will tell Levi, “Congratulations” on his record catch. But, I wish there were no yellow bass in Summit for anyone to catch.
Unfortunately, yes, we have had previous yellow bass records on the books. Levi’s fish beat the old record by a grand total of two ounces. That fish was caught from Louisville Pit #2, a waterbody where yellow bass have since been eliminated by chemical renovation.
Creek chubs are a native minnow. They can be found in rivers and streams throughout Nebraska. Creek chubs may be a minnow species, but they are quite the predator. As a kid, I spent many an afternoon with friends and cousins catching creek chubs.
But, I never heard of one being caught through a hole in the ice!
Kirk Sharp of Valentine figured out how to catch creek chubs through the ice, and he found some dandies in a Keya Paha private pond. On February 1 he used a wax-worm to catch a 13 1/4-inch creek chub that weighed exactly 1 pound.
Five days later, Kirk went back and caught a bigger one! It was a whole 1/4-inch longer and 1 ounce heavier! It also was caught on a wax-worm.
Yes, we had a previous hook & line state record on the books for creek chubs. Kirk shattered that old record by five and six ounces! A one pound creek chub is a BIG creek chub!
Congratulations, Levi and Kirk! Your State Record Certificates will be coming in the mail.
That is all I have for now. Again, take a minute to review the state record rules in the 2022 Fishing Guide. You can find a complete list of all Nebraska state record fish HERE. Then, put your line in the water and hold on! You never know!