Jumbo Yellow Perch Caught by Pennsylvania Angler Should Tie the State Record

April 11, 2024 - Blog

Although it hasn’t been certified by the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission, the chunky yellow perch that Chuck Main caught on Monday could be a new state record. At the very least, it should tie the current state record, a 3-pound fish caught in 2021.

Main, of Ellwood City, was fishing off Presque Isle on Lake Erie when the perch hit his jig, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Main quickly landed the fish and took his catch to Reddi Bait in Bridgewater to have it weighed on certified scales. Fisheries personnel with the PFBC were there to witness the official weight reading of 3.02 pounds.

This led Tim Reddinger, the owner of Reddi Bait, to declare the fish a potential state record in a video he posted to Facebook. But while Main’s perch is technically the heaviest ever caught and weighed on a certified scale in Pennsylvania, it might only rank as a tie because of the state’s protocols around fishing records. PFBC rules require new state-record fish to outweigh the current record by at least two ounces, and official weights are typically rounded to the nearest ounce.

This is precisely what happened in April 2021, when Kirk Rudzinski caught his state-record yellow perch from Lake Erie. Rudzinski’s fish officially weighed 2.98 pounds on a certified scale, but that weight of 47.68 ounces was rounded up to 48 ounces (or 3 pounds) and certified as such in the record books.

If fisheries officials take the same approach with Main’s fish and round off its weight of 48.32 ounces to 48 ounces even, it will be enough to tie but not replace Rudzinski’s record. (And even if they don’t round down, Main’s fish still wouldn’t qualify as a record because it only outweighs Rudzinski’s perch by .64 ounces, which is short of the two ounces required to break a record.)

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It could be several weeks before officials decide on the record status of Main’s perch. PFBC did not immediately respond to requests for comment, and neither did the angler.

Either way, Main’s catch proves that Lake Erie is still producing plenty of whopper yellow perch. In addition to Rudzinski’s Pennsylvania record, both the Ohio and New York records were caught there. Ohio’s record perch weighed 2 pounds 12 ounces and was caught in 1984, while the New York record weighed 3 pounds 8 ounces and was caught in 1982. The IGFA lists the all-tackle yellow perch record as a 4-pound 3-ounce giant that was caught in New Jersey in 1865.

The post Jumbo Yellow Perch Caught by Pennsylvania Angler Should Tie the State Record appeared first on Outdoor Life.

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