Barbs and Backlashes

Record Fish, August 4, 2010 by whitetips
August 4, 2010, 1:34 pm
Filed under: Fishing | Tags: , ,

I have a few state record applications sitting on my desk; time for another update.

Let’s start with this fish.

This will be a new state record for longnose gar taken by surface spearfishing.  Randy Oppliger of Columbus speared this fish on June 12.  Randy’s gar was taken from the Platte River in Polk County, weighed 20 pounds 15 ounces, and was 58 inches long.  This fish broke the previous surface spearfishing longnose gar record by 3.5 pounds!

The next application to hit my desk was for a grass carp taken by bow-fishing.  This fish is mammoth!

That is what a 63 pound 8 ounce, 53.25-inch grass carp looks like.  Marlyn Wiebelhaus from Wynot arrowed this big grass carp at Buckskin Hills Reservoir on July 6.  Grass carp were stocked in Buckskin Hills back in 1984 and 1988.  Marlyn’s fish would be one of the 765 grass carp stocked in Buckskin in those two years.  I do not know any of the story behind Marlyn’s fish, but I do know that grass carp are extremely wary and I am guessing it took some stealth and skill to stick a 20-some year old, 63-pound grass carp!  This grass carp beat the previous archery grass carp record by one pound and seven ounces.  That previous archery state record for grass carp was held by Ron Anderson from Omaha.

I usually do not mention the names of previous record holders when I do a state record update, but I am dropping Marlyn and Ron’s names for a reason.  Both of them have been listed in the bow-fishing records before, and in this case Marlyn knocked off one of Ron’s records.  But, on July 20, Ron got revenge.

On that date, Ron Anderson took the pictured silver carp by bow-fishing on the Missouri River in Douglas County.  Ron’s silver carp weighed 27 pounds 11 ounces and was 39 inches long.  I say Ron got revenge because his silver carp knocked off the previous bow-fishing silver carp record taken by . . . you guessed it . . . Marlyn Wiebelhaus.  Marlyn’s previous archery record silver carp was a 22 pound 2 ounce fish.  So, Ron beat Marlyn’s previous bow-fishing record silver carp by a larger margin than Marlyn’s bow-fishing record grass carp exceeded Ron’s previous record.  Anyway, I thought that was curious and I am sure the “competition” between those two will continue.  Seriously, I know they both spend a lot of time on the water and obviously they know what they are doing.

Ron’s fish was a silver carp and yes, that is the species of carp that jump out of the water when frightened.  Silver carp are here, they can be found in Nebraska’s Missouri River all the way up to Gavins Point Dam.  I hate to think of it, but a 27 pound 11 ounce silver carp flying into a boat could do some serious damage to some body!  Silver carp can grow quite a bit larger, so I would predict that we will continue to see the records for these fish pushed higher.  Even bigger silver carp would be even more dangerous if they come flying into someone’s lap while motoring in a boat up the river.

I have heard some grumbling from anglers this year about nongame fish being the only records that are being broken.  I do not make the records, I just keep track of them.  If you want more game fish records, then go get ’em.  But I think there are some reasons we have recently seen more record nongame fish than record game fish.  Angler acceptance and popularity is partly behind “game fish” and “nongame fish” designations.  Being more popular, our rod and reel state records for most game fish have already been set near the ultimate potential size for those species in Nebraska waters.  I consider it unlikely that we will ever see our rod & reel records for species like brown trout, brook trout, bluegill, largemouth bass, or smallmouth bass broken.  Those records are already established at weights that may never be exceeded in Nebraska waters.  On the other hand, we have had archery, underwater powered spearfishing, and surface spearfishing records for many species of nongame fish established just recently and those records could be pushed even higher.  For example, longnose gar, silver carp and grass carp can get even larger than the three records I mentioned in this blog post.  We will still see some rod & reel records broken, came darned close to the walleye record already this year, , but you can expect that nongame fish archery, underwater powered spear-fishing and surface spear-fishing are going to be the most common record breakers.

Let me finish with a couple stories of near misses.

The first rolled into our office last week when we had a report of an unusual gar that had been arrowed on the Missouri River.  Initial descriptions sounded like the fish could be an alligator gar, a southern species of gar that had never before been confirmed in Nebraska waters.  You can find some alligator gar as close as Missouri and Kansas, but never before in Nebraska waters.  However, with the high water levels this year, fish are on the move and who knows what could swim up into our waters.  Anyway, it turned out to be a false alarm as closer examination revealed that it was a shortnose gar with an unusual snout.

Secondly, Jake Miriovshy arrowed this longnose gar last weekend.

We believe this fish might have been big enough to exceed the 22 pound 13 ounce record for longnose gar taken by bow-fishing.  But, Jake did not think of checking the fish in until a couple of days later and by the time it had been retrieved it had dried quite a bit and fell a couple pounds short.  From the picture I believe it might have been big enough to be a new state record when it was taken.  Jake was confident there were some more big longnose gar in that pit, and he and his buddies will be on a quest to break that archery state record.  Stay tuned.

Believe it or not, I hear these sad stories all the time, so this is a good reminder.  You can find all of our state record fish listed here, .  A list of the weights of the current state records along with state record rules can also be found in the 2010 Fishing Guide, .  If you take what you believe might be a new state record, keep it alive as long as possible, but if it dies, it will not lose weight as long as you keep it wet–ice it down, keep it in water, and then get it weighed and certified as soon as you can.  If you have any questions let me know.

Congratulations to Randy, Marlyn and Ron!  We will get the certificates finished up and in the mail to you.  To the rest of you, you never know what is out there!  The more time you spend on the water, the more likely you will have an encounter with an exceptional fish.  That is what keeps us fishing!


8 Comments so far
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Surely there are game fish records doomed to be broken. If people would throw back the larger fish they catch so they can breed and G&P imposes a few slot limits we will surely see some records broken. The strategy G&P uses these days seems to be to get people out to fish private ponds, fish for junk fish, practice catch and release only (cuz we’re not here to put food on your table) but just look at the lakes in eastern Nebraska. Wagon Train seems to be the only salt valley lake producing. Cunning ham is doing great now but will soon be fished out because of poor enforcement. Standing Bear is dead. Can’t fish Wherspan at night (thanks nrd) Branched oak is mediocre pawnee is poor conestoga is poor. It seems like we can only get about half of our lakes going at a time and the rest are in shambles but fees keep going up. And enforcement is difficult because officers don’t answer their phones.

Comment by JEFF


Care to guess which body of water produced the most Master Angler Award fish in 2009??????

Daryl B.

Comment by whitetips

wooww big fish nice work thank you admin 🙂

Comment by mankenlik ajansı

my best guess is that Branched oak has produced a ton of master angler flatheads and wipers and probably a few crappies too. Wagon train too as far as master angler awards.

Comment by JEFF

Yes, Branched Oak produced more Master Angler fish in 2009 than any other body of water in the state. It is not as simple as throwing on a few slot limits and all of a sudden we will have great fishing. We have aging reservoirs especially in eastern Nebraska and rehabilitation projects take a lot of time and money. We also have a variety of different anglers who desire a variety of different fishing opportunities. Our strategy to satisfy the greatest number of those anglers is to try to provide as many different fishing experiences as possible.

There are lots of challenges and we need our anglers help and support to meet some of those challenges. BUT, there is also a darned lot of good fishing, including fishing for big fish in Nebraska and that includes eastern Nebraska!

Daryl B.

Comment by Daryl Bauer

[…] Record Fish, August 4, 2010 « Barbs and Backlashes […]

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[…] Record Fish, August 4, 2010 « Barbs and Backlashes […]

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[…] you read my last state record update, , you will remember that Marlyn Wiebelhaus took a MONSTROUS grass carp from Buckskin Hills […]

Pingback by Record Fish, September 17, 2010 « Barbs and Backlashes

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