Barbs and Backlashes


Record Fish, September 17, 2010 by whitetips
September 17, 2010, 11:19 am
Filed under: Fishing | Tags: , , , , ,

Time for another update of state record fish.  You will see some familiar names here.

Dustin Noble is a hardcore Nebraska outdoorsman.  You can follow his adventures here, http://www.nobleoutdoorsne.com/index.html .  One thing Dustin loves to do is some underwater spearfishing, and you will find his name throughout the underwater powered spearfishing record book, http://outdoornebraska.ne.gov/fishing/pdfs/RecordFish.pdf .  Dustin has also taken the time to compile what would be world record fish taken while underwater spearfishing, http://www.nobleoutdoorsne.com/worldrecordfish.html .

Well, Dustin has been busy underwater again this summer.  I talked to him on the phone for a little bit and he has access to a private Buffalo County sandpit that produces some big fish.  His targets there this summer have been redear sunfish.  Here is the first one he shot on July 3.

1 pound 2 ounce redear sunfish

I love that classic red margin on the gill cover tab.  That is definitely a redear sunfish.  Now Dustin has taken all three redear sunfish that have ever qualified as underwater spearfishing records.  He started with a 2 ounce fish taken back in 2007, so he was just raising the bar with the 1 pound 2 ounce fish he took in July.

But . . .

Notice I said Dustin had taken all 3 redears that have been certified as underwater spearfishing state records; he went back on September 4 and got the third one.

1 pound 4 ounce redear sunfish

So, our current underwater powered spearfishing state record for redear sunfish stands at 1 pound 4 ounces until someone, and my money would be on Dustin, beats that.

Now let me show you another fish Dustin took on July 3.

Several of us pointy-headed fish biologist types took a look at this fish and came to the conclusion that it was a hybrid bluegill X redear sunfish.  As is typical with hybrid fish it has characteristics of both of its parent species, characteristics intermediate between the parent species.

Allow me to play “state record czar” for a little bit and explain how we are handling this record.  We do recognize hybrid fish for state records.  Some hybrids are easily identified and in fact we stock some of them (e.g. wipers, tiger muskie).  Other hybrids are harder to identify with 100% certainty and we have had to verify the identity of some of those record fish by DNA analysis (e.g. saugeye).  When it comes to sunfish, hybrids are known to occur between green sunfish, bluegills, pumpkinseeds, redears, and orangespots in a variety of combinations.  So, to simplify we have simply recognized “hybrid sunfish” for state record purposes.  In most cases those hybrids would be green sunfish X bluegills, but as you can see in the picture above, there are a lot of other possible combinations and maybe even back-crosses.  Yes, I suppose we could recognize each hybrid individually, but at some point that becomes confusing and in my opinion, ridiculous.  Should we recognize separate records for fish that might be 1/4 bluegill and 3/4 redear?  Or how about a hybrid that might be 1/2 green sunfish, 1/4 bluegill and 1/4 redear (I am aware of at least one small pit that has all three of those species present and I would have hated to guess the identity of some of the sunfish I saw there).  Besides that, I am not sure who would be able to do the DNA work to identify all the possible combinations, nor how much all of that testing would cost.

So, that is the new underwater powered spearfishing state record hybrid sunfish.  That fish weighed 13 ounces and beat out the previous record by a mere ounce; that record had been on the books since 1997.

If you read my last state record update, https://barbsandbacklashes.wordpress.com/2010/08/04/record-fish-august-4-2010/ , you will remember that Marlyn Wiebelhaus took a MONSTROUS grass carp from Buckskin Hills Reservoir while bowfishing.  Apparently Marlyn was not satisfied with a 63.5 pound grass carp, so he went back and shot a bigger one.

Marlyn Wiebelhaus and his 67 pound 14 ounce bowfishing state record grass carp.

Grass carp were only stocked in Buckskin Hills back in 1984 and 1988 and obviously some of those fish have grown to mammoth proportions (and “mammoth” might be the right word to use, those grass carp are darned big herbivores!).  I do not know how many more of those grass carp are left in Buckskin Hills, but again my money would be on Marlyn to go out there and find an even bigger one.  Hope he has a truck big enough to haul ’em.

The chance of catching a huge fish is one of the things that keeps us fishing!  You just never know, you could catch a record fish!  In case you do, there is an application form located in the 2010 Fishing Guide as well as all of the state record rules, http://outdoornebraska.ne.gov/Fishing/guides/fishguide/pdf/FishGuide.pdf .  I can tell you that fall is one of the best times for catching big fish and I am hoping I have some more state record updates to share with you before this year is over.

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