Detroit Sports and More

Detroit Area Sports and the Great Outdoors

My quest for a state record…..

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on May 26, 2009

Last year I went fishing with my father. It was a simple trip, a semi-tradition I suppose. Usually on the 4th of July or Memorial Day we try to go fishing in the morning. It’s always for something to keep, never sport fishing. Bluegills are the main target, sometimes Walleye, Crappie, or Perch are on the menu too though.

Last year we did the traditional Bluegill trip on a small row boat at a friend’s house. The lake is private and quieter than most. It is a very large lake and has very good water clarity. That day was windy though and things were getting stirred up a bit. The west/southwest winds were pushing 1-2′ waves across the open water. We were fishing in a 14′ row boat with a 30 lb. thrust trolling motor. It’s not much for fighting winds and waves.

The wave action was creating some interesting breaks along the north shore so we found a bay and nestled up into it. Being early in the year the pollen was floating on the water and settling in the slack areas. It made identifying the slack easy and gave a nice visual to cast to. We set up our bobbers and worms and casted them to the break. We caught Bass, Bluegill, Pumpkinseed, Perch, Rockbass, and even a Smallmouth. It was fun fishing.

The break was producing lots of fish but not many really big fish. We started casting to the other sides of the boat in slightly deeper water. We started catching nicer fish. 9″ Gills started filling the stringer.

Then I got a BIG surprise.

I hooked into what felt like a decent Bass. Then it turned sideways, which is a trademark for a Bluegill, so I knew I had a good 9″ or better Gill on. When I grabbed it from the water I was stunned. It wasn’t a Bluegill, it was a Pumpkinseed Sunfish.

My first impression is that it was deformed, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. I had caught Gills over 10″ before but never a Pumpkinseed. It looked like it had a helmet on, kind of like the old leather football helmets. It’s head, directly above it’s eye, went straight up and made it have almost a square appearance.

I knew I had something special so I decided to get some measurements. The length came in right at 10 1/8″ and the weight was 0.97 lbs. on the digital scale. For a Bluegill that’s nice, but not special. For a Pumpkinseed, that’s HUGE. The official state record is 10″ and 1.34 lbs. Looks like mine needed to fatten up some. Being Memorial Day I imagine it will by fall.

This experience got me thinking, the lake is healthy and has good numbers of above average fish. The lake could produce a state record perhaps? I think I will see if it can….

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