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Crappies & Panfish Fishing

New World-Record Sunfish?

by John Geiger   |  June 3rd, 2011 243

Robert Lawler's 5 pound, 8.8 ounce redear sunfish could be a new world record.

This panfish might be too big for a pan!

Robert Lawler, of Lake Havasu, Arizona, landed a huge 5-pound, 8.8-ounce, 16.75-inch redear sunfish on Lake Havasu. Lawler used a Texas-rigged 7-inch Power Worm to land the Texas-sized fish that featured a 19-inch girth.

Right now, it’s the semi-official new Arizona state record for the Colorado River, according to the Arizona Game & Fish Department. The previous state-record redear was caught in  February of 2010 at Lake Havasu by a California angler. That fish was more than a pound lighter than Lawler’s catch, weighing 4 pounds, 2.24 ounces, and stretching 15.5 inches long.

There’s no doubt Lawler’s fish is a contender for a world record. The current all-tackle world record is 5 pounds, 7 ounces, according to the International Game Fish Association. Amos Gay caught the current record fish in a South Carolina diversion canal in 1998.

  • bnorman

    WOW! What a MONSTER!

    • matt

      dindins on!!!!lol

    • http://yahoo david

      holy shit huge ass sun fish

  • bkibbey

    I think I'm going to retire to Arizona

    • Frank

      Lake Havasu is full of these big Redears. I have seen guys with ice chest almost full of 2 to 4 pound redears.

  • smayer

    Dang! My nephew has (might be had by now) the WV state record at 4+ pounds. That one is a MONSTER!!!!

    • John

      I believe the wv state record is only 2.2 lbs.

  • richard

    im not sure who is more pissd the fish or the angler. lighten up dude you caught a fish of a lifetime.

    • Christian

      I think he spilled his beer while he was landing it.

      • Brillo

        I don't think he cared about the beer!!!

        • Evan

          Naaw, he's been holding that fish straight out like that for 20 min waiting for the photographer to get the light right or some crap. He's arms are about to give out. LOL

          • Dave

            I think he just realizes that monster is never gonna give his thumb back. Rarely does one consider mounting a panfish, well played, sir.

          • Joe

            Nope… I think he just pissed his pants when he landed that one and it is really feeling nasty about right now!!!

        • Powder

          You think he was too worried getting the brillo just right.

        • eek

          proly wisky

    • rudfire17

      Sure looks that way i'd be smiling from ear to ear on that fish.

    • Matt

      dude give him a break, he has his bad ass angler face on

  • bkibbey

    you got a point, Richard, I'd be grinnin from ear to ear. Lighten up dude

  • Darryl Williams

    Nice Job!! Keep on fishing…

  • Chuck

    I'm trying to break the Connecticut state record 2.13 lbs on yellow perch. this gives me more hope that lunkers are always out there.

    • Jon

      wow that's all the state record is there for yellow perch? I caught a 3 pound yellow perch through the ice a few years ago in Michigan. more than doubled my little rode over. was 15 1/2 inches long.

      • ted

        15 1/2 inch perch dont weigh anywhere near 3 pounds,nice try jon

        • Brandon

          Ted, you're a moron. Do a little research before you go making stupid accusations like that. THIS LINK –… – is of a guy who caught a 15 inch yellow perch, and it weighed 2.5 pounds. Who's to says a 15.5 incher didn't weigh 3 pounds?

        • bernie

          Perch on lake gogebic in u.p. reach sumo size and in good numbers.

        • dakota

          ya they do those cuz i cought a 12 in yellow perch and it weighed 2 pounds

        • rick

          they do when you're wearing beer goggles!!!

  • dale

    yeah i was wondering do you still have that thing id like to put him on a jug

    • Tim

      that would catch one big pike

  • Brent Brooks

    Looks more like a bluegill than a red-eared sunfish. I don't see any of the tell tale red mark on the "ear". But either way, a catch of a lifetime. I would have freaked out if I caught that.

    • matt hammlin

      learn about what the heck you are saying cause thats definetly a red ear

      • Dave

        Matt, lighten up man. Brent was just expressing his opinion. A little less caffeine maybe.

        • Jeff

          Well, his opinion sucks ass

      • gjeno

        @ matt: SHUT UP !!!!

        • Bill Dance


    • Mark

      lots of times, when a fish gets that old, their colors tend to fade. It's most definitely a redear.

  • Randell

    Looks like what we call a "shellcracker" here in SC. I clicked on the link looking to see a huge "redbreast", but was disappointed. Still a great catch though!!

    • Wallace Gainey

      Shellcraker/red-eared sunfish—is the same fish in SC. Red breast is different. All ARE of the sun-fish species though.

    • Joe

      Randall I lived in SC for a while… I have a 3lb Crappie I caught there in the little PeeDee, and a 2lb.10oz. Shell cracker I caught in a branch of the PeeDee… Someone said it could be a record… Do you have any idea what the Record Shell cracker weight is in SC?

    • Mark

      yeah, they call them chinquapin, redear and shellcracker but they're all the same fish.

      • Lynwood Loehr

        You're right, I worked construction for a while and worked with a fellow from Pasagoula(spelling?), Miss. It took us forever- and a fishing trip together to figure out his chinquapin was my shellcracker. I would have sworn he was talking about a crappie till then!

    • Clyde

      Get your mind out of the gutter

    • Scrapiron

      Don't think he would have his finger in the mouth of a true shell cracker, or sheep head as some call them. They got a mouth full of sharp teeth and eat the piling from under piers.

  • john

    I wonder if he was fishing for bass?

    • Jack

      As I comment below…who fishes for sunfish with a texas rig worm?

      • Derek

        people fishing for big sunfish it looks like :)

      • Joe

        In SC I did!

      • Lynwood Loehr

        We use nightcrawlers for them- a plastic worm looks alot like that. Their natural food is those little freshwater clams. If you look in their throat, you can see real rough teeth type things that they use to crack the shells. The shells aren't real thick- not small ones anyway.

    • Wallace Gainey

      Well, caught on a 7 inch Texas rigged Power worm. That's the rig we use to catch bass.

  • Keith

    I see his arm in the window but no fish,makes me think the photo is a fake.

    • astew101

      If you look closer, you will see the flash also in the window. I think you mistaken the arm in the window, it looks to me like it is the photographers arm.JMHO;-)

      • joel

        follow his shoulder below the tackle superstore words in the window, no fish tail refection

        • sonny

          if you click on the photo it will make it larger and you can see the scales and the tail

    • Vampire Art

      His tail is there right under the letters (r s t o r e) you can also see the glint of the sun reflecting off the tail in that same spot you are looking at the reflection of the photographer … see the flash from his camera … I do a lot of photo shop work it looks real I have to say that it is imo a genuine picture

      • Joe

        I am a graphic Artist, and it looks real to me…. Unlike that cut and pasted giant catfish posted on this site!

    • Jimmy

      I can see the tail fin in the reflection, not saying it is not a made up photo but the reflection is very good if made up!!!!!!

    • Todd

      Thats the photographer dumb@ss

    • jeff

      Tail is reflected under the ST in store. Moron

  • http://Browser Just Me

    That is a hybrid Bluegill !!

    • bii c

      nooooooooo…this is a shell craker !

      • Joe

        Naaa…. That aint like no shell cracker I ever caught…

        • Lynwood Loehr

          Then you've never caught a shellcracker. I live in South Carolina and when they're on the bed we can catch hundreds- have to turn them loose though- I think the limits 15 or 20, more than I want to clean! If you save the picture and enlarge it, you can see the red edge on it's ear. And I don't care how old you are, I've caught tons of crappie and shellcrackers. A crappie that big would have a mouth you could fit a coke can in! I've caught 3lb crappie that you almost could. And you all don't think that the Fish and Game peopleout there don't know the difference in a crappie and a shellcracker? People always have to have something negative to say!

    • Fish Fan

      They are bigger badder and grow real fast !

    • Mark

      I would think the game and fish officials know how to ID a fish. It's a redear.

      • Lynwood Loehr

        If they look up a picture of the current South Carolina record shellcracker, it looks like that one- a big, fat ,hog! They have to do some SERIOUS eating and have genetics on they're side to get that big!

  • Greauxpete

    That's a Nike perch

    Sincerely – Jeremy Wade



    • Julie

      He is probably pissed because his wife won't let him hang the mount in the living room !

    • Big Ran

      He's pissed cause he thought it was a bass.

  • Tchefuncte River Pet

    Wow! I've only ever seen a few of those fish larger than a single pound, much less five. For whatever reason, largemouth bass, sunfish and pretty much all other freshwater fish not including catfish don't get very big in Louisiana. Every now and again Toledo Bend and the Red River produce some decent fish, but I doubt if Louisiana's record sunfish is even a fourth of the one pictured here.

    That's quite a catch. Thanks for sharing!

    • Julie

      Caught some huge white perch in late March at Toledo Bend. We caught 20 in about an hour.Most weighed at least a pound. Caught off the bank no less ! I caught four good size bass off the bank the day before. Now that was fun !

    • LD

      They don't git very big 'cause the gators eat'em up 'fore they can grow!!!!

    • Mark

      I live in Mississippi and have fished alot in Louisiana. Most of Louisiana's fishing is in natural lakes (oxbows) or rivers. In my opinion, river and oxbow lake fish just don't grow as big and fish in man made lakes, but I may be wrong. Also, alot of Louisiana's lakes are very shallow and the water gets bath water hot in summer, but I don't know if that would make a difference.

      • Lynwood Loehr

        I think you hit the nail on the head. That shallow, warm water slows them down. The diversion canal at Santee is fed by cool water from the lake. In Clarks Hill where I fish, it's a deep, manmade reservoir with 1200 miles of shoreline. They come up shallow to bed on the full moons in April, May and June. The rest of the year they stay in the cool, deeper water.

        Crappie! I still can't beleive somebody would say that!

  • Tommy Bridges

    Would love to see that thing fish eye tp fish eye!

  • chiro1989

    That is a nice fish, it must be all that runoff from those RV's





  • BC

    Let's see how big a striper this guy will attract ………

  • Hutj

    I usually fish with a 7 in power worm when I go fishing for sunfish. :-) Nice catch though.

    • floridabob

      don't want to seem stupid,but-what do you mean by 7 7"?

      fish saltwater for tarpon,permit,bonefish in the keys(fla.) also – what color? thanks

  • shane

    an amazing fish,,,shell c.redear.what ever…dosent really matter….nice….

  • Steven Pelkey

    Just a few miles from where we live.

  • Carl Sears

    That's what we call "live bait" for fishing for catfish in the Altamaha River in Georgia. :-).

    • Wallace Gainey

      Come now, don't compare a nice game fish like this with trash fish.

  • stu law

    That's one monster Redear! It's no wonder that such a large panfish would be (could be) caught in Havasu. I have fished Havasu for years and on average, hooking and landing 2 to 3 pound redears can be the norm on any given day. In comparison, I have caught redears out of Clear Lake in Northern California, and on average they only weight in at 1/2 to 1 pound. So, I have to say that there is something in the water there at Havasu that makes the fish grow larger! Either way, Lawler landed a very nice fish!

  • ronald dupree

    Now, that is perch jerking at its best.

  • Don

    I know of one that was bigger than that one because i was with the person that landed it. 17.5 inches 6.51 pounds. It was a catch and release and i was startled when he landed that fish because i have never in my life seen anything like it before. And this fish was caught on a spinner bait in Michigan. Congrats to you Robert on your impressive catch, very nice! I will not say the location that my friend landed his but he did say that it was fighting like a Muskie!

    • yup

      get a life. why lie?

    • Digital Paintings

      What lake in Michigan ?? I am in Michigan and I fish here and in Minnesota as well … About 7 years ago I landed a 12.5 pound walleye at around 2am biggest walleye I ever landed on a little private lake around Brighton I was grinning ear to ear ! Woke my mom up to take a pic could not afford a mount. My dad caught a 53 inch Musky in Detroit lakes Minnesota last year he is going to pick up the mount in a few weeks … I have to say there is no other feeling that compares to pulling a fish like that in the boat or onto the dock! Congrats Robert that is a catch of a lifetime, it is what makes the life of a fisherman so great. My favorite fish are salmon though still to this day, but that is a real trophy and no matter the breed of fish a real trophy like that most will never have the pleasure.

    • Tom burnett

      the sunfish record for michigan is 2 lbs 12 ounces. That's almost 3 times the size of the state record.

    • Wallace Gainey

      No No, I'm hesitate to believe that a 6+ pound redear can be caught in Michigan's cold water. Try again guy.


    Way to go! great catch!!!!!!



    • Joe

      Hey John… I live in summersville too!

  • rich

    a piocture just wasn't enough. that's why you A hole's never catch anything bigger than a couple of pound's because you keep everything you catch. not very hard to figure out throw it back and next year it will be bigger. it's to bad you keep everything you catch. i caught a blue gill in our back yard the other day maybe 3 lbs but it's back in there for the next time.

    • Joe

      I agree with you to a degree, but it is a well known fact that overpopulated lakes and rivers cause a stunted growth… There has to be so many taken or the fish would never gain any size. Just like fish in a fish tank… To many fish and they won't grow right… Do your homework this documented facts from the fish and game commission… Howevewr I don't think a fish under 12 in. should be taken from the water. This is a state regulation in a lot of states now. A good law!

  • rich

    by the way they call them BRIM down here in FL.

    • Ozzelored

      We call the little ones brim, the bigger ones bluegill, thebiggest ones copperhreads ….and one like that, well I don't know cause they don't get that big in Florida.

    • Richard

      That`s spelled BREAM

  • matt baldwin

    Smile man! You got the big one !

  • dustin

    umm idk if you noticed but his hands are kinda huge? photoshop much?

    • Fish Fan

      Because he is holding it way in front of him that is how you take a fish pic … some of you do not even fish do you ?

      • Nick A.

        Yes i concurr, it is the holding position.

      • Joe

        You're right… The closer to the camera, the bigger the fish LOL!

  • eric

    that is a hybrid bluegill!!!! i catch shell crackers all the time ..and a red ear sunfish and a shell cracker are the same fish…that is a bluegill

    • Mark

      it's NOT a bluegill. It's a redear.

  • eric

    very nice catch though…congrats!!

  • smittdro

    Damn…… I'd have started trippin' if I caught that

  • phil (michigan)

    awsome fish ive fished all my life and allways smile when i catch a biggie, be happy dude

  • http://aol Ryan

    That is a catch of a lifetime.congrates.


    great fish, one that we all only dream of cograts.

  • TINK

    Smile, that's a great catch. I hope you released it.

  • weezy

    looks like a private pond monster to me !! not hard gettin a fish that big when you raise it like a pet !!! nice fish but seems fishy !! ive fished my whole life and slayed n fillet a lota fish but you never see something like that even on private lakes ! something tells me this was his pet !!!

  • keb

    Musky bait

  • sportfish

    we use fish that big for bait

  • http://bing kent westfall

    very nice fish i caught a 1 pound sun fish and i thoght that was big.hey i live in springfield mo where bass pro is.i bet johnny moris would give you good money for that fish.congrats…….

  • Bob

    Lakes dont cut it for me too small… I landed a 400lb Blue Marlin last thursday in the Outer Banks!

  • Nicholas

    Did the editor forget their fish classification? It's a blue gill not a sunny as they do have the yellow belly. Any how nice catch. I can't wait to land my once in a life time lunker

  • Rigatony

    Nice Hog….

  • Don

    That's one terrible shell cracker! My biggest only weighed 14 oz. but fought like a run away bus.

  • Bob Jones

    I have a funny feeling this one was not a catch and release specimen. Another sample of unique DNA snatched from the gene pool.

    • joe

      any idea how many offspring it has produced getting to that size ?!?!? snatched from the gene pool my a$$

  • mike craig

    don't believe everything DNR tells you. Big fish have big appetites…meaning they consume many smallerfish. Remove big fish from system many small fish grow bigger. Fish size is 100% about available food source/water conditions/cover…nothing more. I have bred and raised 1000's of fish and animals in my life as well as fished many many fish. Some of the best bass I catch come from a relatively small lake…maybe 25 acres that is fished heavily all year. It has 2 holes 1 17' deep, 1 22'deep. Bass over 5lbs can be caught daily anywhere along the shore because then entire shore is full of water lilies 15-20 out from shore. Tons of cover and hard to fish. I have made several $ betting guys who have been fishing for hours and then landing a 4-6lber within 15 minutes of getting there….right where they fishing for hours. I learned from an Inian in Oklahoma when I was 7….50 years ago…it's about energy….yours. If you don't BELIEVE you will catch good fish you WONT. I have a picture of a 13-3 largemouth and a 5-2smallmouth and a 9-6 redhorsesucker…all Illinois state records but none were recorded…the pics say it all. Many have doubted they're real…I couldn't care less…I know they are. It is far better to be a has been than to be a never was.

  • jakeSEO

    Bet you weren't expecting that. You must have been Bass fishing. Nice fish.



  • James Ray Moore

    If people only knew what is in the water world. There are fish in the lakes of the world only some lucky diver's have seen. This is one of the small ones. Some of the tales you hear are true. Lakes in the southeast have fish you have to see o beleave.

  • Donnie

    my buddy had one just like it (in an aquarium).

  • Jesse Hadden

    I would love to catch a fish like that — wonder if he thought he had caught a bass, and how long did it take him to get the thing to shore? The whole big fish thing is pretty simple. Big fish need to eat a lot and require lots of cover to hide bheind, and so they get biggest in fertile mainstem waterways and lakes fed by them, or tidewater areas where they can get food from land or sea. If you want to catch something big, big crawlers or big red worms that look like miniature eels are good. Fish in backwaters and sloughs with slow current, behind weedy wing dams, beneath points, bends and point-bars, and beneath tributary junctions. Tributary junctions, especially if the tributary is fairly big, often are the best places, since the fish can get food from two rivers without going very far. Below islands or rockpiles, or even submerged islands, especially if the islands are weedy behind them or are covered in weeds, midstream weedbeds, weedy bays, and in notches in the shoreline are good. These all create the slack water bream favor, and you can find them here. If the water is high, fish right up in the submerged shoreline brush and trees. The current's not as strong and the stuff provides good cover. Fish will associate with the same sorts of places in lakes, it's just not as obvious and the fish will cruise around a lot in search of food rather than let the current bring it to them. It's more difficult to catch a monster in a lake, especially in spring and fall when fronts and thunderstorms are a dime a dozen.

  • Dan

    Not a blue gill, colors wrong, shape is wrong.

    As stated already, and to state again, size is a matter of food and environment. Yea, that fish is gone…but you know what, I bet he has thousands of siblings running around that lake with the same genes. Plus, the previous record was caught a year ago in the same place. Guess what, that record will probably fall again.

    Also, it will not count as an IFGA World record, isn't big enough. Fish under 25lbs must exceed the current record by 2oz or more. Thats why that Japanese fellow didn't break that ancient Large Mouth record officially. This fish is .2oz short, at 5lbs 9oz it would have been the new world record


    NO FISH IN THE REFLECTION !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • 651m

      thats cuz he is standing between the fish and the window…obviously there wot be a reflection!!

  • Scott

    That is insane.He must of had a blast bringing him in.NICE!!!!!!

  • Matt Schlabach

    That is a monster fish

  • Peter

    Lawlor your just as ugly as you were at NAU.

    Remember me Pete Dolci Industrial Arts Major.

  • doug edwards

    whow 5.5 pounds ….. i once caught a 3 pound sunfish broke the cane pole but landed it away….. good eating

  • Rusty

    To the ones saying it is a blue gill are just ignorant!!! That is a shell crackr plain and simple. Look at the shape of the head and that alone will prove that it is a shell cracker.

  • Ken

    I think he should he release it back after weighting it. That one old female and she should had the chance to live again.

  • tom ashbaugh

    thats one big gill

  • Steve

    He's not smiling because lake Havasu is the ugliest body of water on the planet. Looks kinda like a moon crater filled with liquid.

  • adam

    that is what dreams are made of.

  • adam

    people its not a sunfish shell cracker

  • paulfishes

    A possible world record and no smile? I dont get why there are so many angler photos and none of them are ever smiling. Like its a terrible thing that just happened, the fact they have a beautiful fish. I guess they are going for the tuff guy look.

    If a world record fish doesnt make you smile, maybe fishing is no fun for you.

  • Webb

    i have to catch a fifty from my lake to equal them fillets nice maybe time to go see father in law in Havasu now :=)


    I SEE THAT ONE HANGN ON THE WALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • darrel

    wow i like catch one that biigg?

  • ron

    Good Flathead Bait

  • Rick

    I live in AZ this was a good catch

  • Mike Alwine

    Just saw this, any new comments on it? Did it qualify?

  • Jack

    Yes, but who uses a Texas rig worm fishing for Sunfish? I'm sure it was a pleasant surprise and put up quite a fight, but if it had been caught on a fly rod with a popper…then we'd all be smiling a little more.

  • DREW


    • MikeW

      That is definately a sunfish!!!!!

    • Blake

      This looks nothing like a crappie…

      • Joe

        Have you ever seen a crappie??? I doubt it!

    • Joe

      I was gonna post the same thing until I seen yours… I agree that is a giant crappie!

    • Jay from Minni

      Sorry' Thats no crappie! Doesn't even look close to a crappie, look at the mouth and how small it is, also the big black dot just behind that only comes from a sun fish.

  • bob

    it look like a cross of spotted bass and a blue gill fish and game dont know butt a very nice fish

  • http://yahoo john

    sweet thats a fattie ,congrats!!

  • John

    The current world record was caught in THE Diversion Canal between lakes Marion and Moultrie. Not a diversion canal.

  • joey

    W O W And I thought filling a 10" fry pan was big again W O W !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • mikedawg

    get in my belly!

  • steve harless

    looks like a crappie almost!

    • phil

      Man, dissapointing to see so many negative outdoorsman replying. All I know is that if I caught a panfish that size (regardless the specimen and camera tricks) on table rock, I'd be SO happy

    • EDDIE



    i had never thought that type of fish can get that big WOW

  • harvey

    It surely is a shell cracker. Down here in Louisiana, we call them chic-a-pin. (check spelling). Anyway, they are one of the first to appear in the bayous in early spring. Also called a red eared sunfish. Beleive me, I know. I've been fishing the swamps and bayous for over 35 years.

  • Bruce Olskoolbro Cop

    Man,I thought they grew ;em big in Texas,, not that a Catch. Congratulation to the Angler.

  • john

    he is not pissed off!!! hes old school traditionally yor not sopposed to smile in that kind of photo hes going for the professional look…. in the army we were told to never smile in pictures because it looked unprofessional….

  • Erik

    WOW!!! And here I thought a 2lbs'er was huge lmao

  • zane

    looks like some one photo shopped a blownup picture of a bream over a smaller fish

  • Billy

    awesome catch, congratulation and good luck with the final tally for world record

  • randy

    looks like a crappie not a sunfish!

    • John

      Obviously youve never seen a crappy or a sunfish. Google is an amazing thing you should check it out. LMAO

    • Joe

      You are right Randy… Anyone who has ever caught a big crappie knows that is what this one is…

    • Jay from Minni

      That fish looks nothing like any crappie I have ever caught! For sure the biggest Sunny I have ever seen, in fact bigger than any Crappie I have seen!

  • alan

    that is what we call in ohio, a red ear. every 1 seems to be arguing about what they call it or what it looks like. example. in the south people call sunfish brem in the north we call them bluegill. cant we all just get along and be happy for the guy.

  • Chad

    Yellow perch Michigan State record 3lb 12oz caught in 1947… I seen a fat 14 incher pushin 2 lb


    my dog catches fish bigger then that get some skill bro

  • al

    look at the hands!!….looks kinduv large!!..photoshop!!

    • hillcoguy

      You are posting comments too quickly. Slow down.


      Garsh! I only made one post and it hasn't come up YET! Woddayamean slow down?

  • John

    If it is a genuine photo, doesn't surprise me it was caught on a texas-rigged worm. Fishing for bass, I've caught bluegill & crappie on lures like jumbo Jitterbugs, 5" Smithwick stickbaits, Red Eye shad lipless crankbaits. But nothing like that. Lol. Usually my catches are rogue suicide bomber bluegill, smaller than the lures, or at least way too small to be attempting to eat them. Maybe provoked to just murder my lures. Lol.

    • John

      I don't think the photo's genuine. If it is, the guy's only 12" across his shoulder, if the fish is 16".

      • JAY-DEE


  • John

    And no, the fish's fins aren't visible in the reflection. You can plainly see the photographers waist, and belt, the fin should be blocking that.

  • Ron

    Great fish, but carful inspection is needed, including DNA, as it appears that the fish might be a hybrid.



  • http://yahoo jessie whitaker

    people are just mad because they did not catch it

  • http://yahoo Dean

    Congratulations . . . for all those who want to argue about the species; try looking at a Scientific Freshwater Fish Identfication Chart. The "cultural names" given in various geographic reasons aren't used when classifying any species of fish or other wildgame for that matter.



  • SC

    Fake. Look at the size of his hands compared to his body. Too big for foreshortening to account for. Plus they don't match the reflection in the window. It's an altered photo. But it would have been a nice dream.

  • Sam

    Awesome catch there…I would love to catch the Largemouth Bass that would eat that fish!!!lol


      me to sam , me to. i want a fishing show :P i catch some nice !! fish locally

  • Liam

    absolute balderdash! horsefeathers!!! ain't no such think happend…!!! Computer enhanced!

  • Liam

    absolute balderdash! horsefeathers!!! ain't no such thing happend…!!! Computer enhanced!

  • lige

    That's a white crappie, not a red ear sunfish.

    • jhick

      thats a crappie where i come from but it is very nice

  • John

    Guys quit sayin its fake. its a real a photographer and if you zoom in on a pic with someone holding a fish like that, your hands will look big too. Get over it. look at its belly, its golden brown, in ohio, its a redear. part of the sunfish family. look it up.


    thats a real nice fish man!!!! you best be patting yourself on the back for that one, i know i would be :) nice way to boost moral in the fishing world!!

  • partsman1955

    way to go robert i bet that was fun landing it

  • Bill Woods

    wow!!! in the days i went fishing, sunfisg just barely reached a pound

  • Billy Snake'Haw

    WOW That's a big one there.. Some people are just Lucky that way..I hope he mounts that on his Wall of prof and to show off and brag about..LOL I Would..

  • Roger

    Appears to be a gravid female. That's the kind to catch for record weights. But a lot of baby bream that will never swim or feed someone's hungry family. LOL

  • Roger

    For those who think this is a crappie, not a sunfish, crappies (and bass) are sunfish. And who's going to naysay the officials that determine what kind of fish it is to place it in the proper category?

    Terrific fish, by the way.

  • Ed.

    Sorry, they maybe of the same family but there is a big diffance it a redear sunfish and a crappie. I'm 74 years old and have fished all my life. This is a crappie not a redear sunfish. I must say, it is a very nice fish.

    • Kip

      We call it a Shell Cracker in North Carolina definitely not a sunfish !!!

    • Richard

      lol.. defiantly not a crappie, for being so old and fishing your whole life you should know thats not a crappie… doesnt look close to a crappie..

  • Tommy

    For bait, he really used a 3lb cricket!!

  • pollock joe

    Ya'll don't know the difference between a CRAPPIE & a Red-eared Sunfish? Sad…….

  • Glen

    The first thing I do when a picture like this is posted is to take a look at the way they're holding the fish, or rattlesnake or whatever critter they want to show off. Notice the way he is holding it here. Arms outstretched in front of him which automatically make it appear much larger than it is. Game and Fish magazine should have pointed this out.

    This is kinda like the giant eastern diamondback rattlesnake that has been floating around on the internet for the past year or so. That same snake has now been claimed to have been killed in about every SE State and it's still being killed. It is a good size diamondback but they're holding it out in front of them and made worse by holding it out on a stick.

    • Richard

      i wouldnt say his arms are stetched all the way out because they arnt.. besides i think hes just holding it out like that for a better look at the fish, thats what i would do anyways.. either way its still a big fish and a record

  • Charley

    I thought it was a white crappie at first but the mouth is too small for a crappie. It has a very close pattern to a crappie. If it was a crappie, you could put both feet in that fish's mouth. Beautiful fih sir. Keep up the good work. Call me the next time you go perch jerkin'.

  • Dennis

    That things bigger than some new born baby's!

  • Jay from Minni

    Gee' whats with that guy? I would be grinning ear to ear with that fish! He looks like he dropped his outboard in the lake just after landing that monster and had to paddle in!

  • paul brace

    looks like a blue gill maybe they callem sunfish in AZ but here in illinois we call em bluegills

  • Dave

    That's a decent amount of bait right there.

  • Dr. Walter Reed

    The Definition of a red neck is someone that knows exactly how much each states record weight is for a fish. This applies to all the red necks commenting on how the record is actually different than what was listed under the picture.

  • Dr. Walter Reed

    I have a P.H.D. from Syracuse University. I am now gonna list the definition of a red neck. A red neck is someone that knows the state record for the state fish.

  • fred

    Nice But Not only is it A Record But its Dead

  • brian

    ive cought several fish that look like this one and just as big that fish is a wiper cross between a white bass and a stripper they are stocked in a lot of the western resirvoirs

  • George

    He should have released the fish. A record Musky was caught last year and the angler released the fish. He said he wasn't going to kill a fish that old and big. It takes a BIG guy/gal to release the fish to be caught again. Does your EGO really require you to keep that big fish??????

  • Scott McElroy

    Great catch. That Bluegill's on steiroids!

  • Roger Stewart

    Damm Nice Fish !! WTG Robert, wonder how long it took to land ? could you let me know ? Roger Stewart Winfield, MO / Face Book……………

    • Mark Carlson

      its a pan fish dumb ass, probably took about 15 seconds to land. have you ever fished before?

  • brad

    i caught a 9 foot 900lb fish once. it was in idaho though. :) does that count?

  • Dale Horton

    This is a Bluegill. It does not have a red ear. The Redear is a Shell Cracker. Great catch though. He did himself proud.



  • Lin

    My comment is not about this fish… but about trophy photography.

    Too often, as with this photo, camera angles distort size perception. This fish IS a trophy… I only wish I could see a more size comparative photo to truly appreciate the actual size of this fish.

  • Putt Fleming

    Nice fish! Wish we had bream like this at Toledo Bend. I would have to give those fish some time…

  • mark carlson

    you idoit, thats a crappie. i bet you feel real cool keeping a species that is a valuable part of reproduction. great sportsmanship jackass

  • Glynn Harrison

    I see we always have jokers, but think about if he was using 4 lb test, on a small set up, it might of took a min or two to get it in. I fished around Fort Stewart GA, and that dark water around there produce huge brim, I saw an old black lady sitting on a bucket with a cane pole fishing, and when she left for the day, she had several in the 3 to 4 pound range. I thought the next record was going to come from there. I didn't even know the fishing was that good in that area. No matter if you catch a fish weighing a ton, for this type of fish, he might as well had to strap in and fight it for hours, this is a "World Record"

  • weenie

    It only beat the record by one ounce cause it bit the tip off his weenie


  • its a fake

    Agree with weenie. This is a fake. Check the belly for lead jigheads.

  • Mitch

    I sure hope this is real. Great catch but honestly it looks like a hybrid bass crossed with sunfish eggs and raised in a pond, which is not hard to do. Also the angry look of the angler is not good. Maybe he had to take a big dump and had to wait for the photographer, but tough. We've all been there……



  • Dr. Walter Reed

    The fish is Real. Why are people leaving annoying irrelevant comments about what kind of fish it is. Read the Information about the fish in the paper. This magazine is a MultiMillion dollar magazine. If it was to print a page about a new fish record it is true. If it wasn't true this magazine would be sued for every penny and would not exist right now.

  • BPC

    I think he looks pissed cause the really "big one" got away!!!

  • mhebert

    I through them size back !!!

  • WILL

    Clearly that is not a paper mouth,I have cought crappie in the 2 pound range with a bigger mouth than that!

  • Jodie Alexander

    Man,what a dinner! That would be some serious eating,because Readears are really good tasting fish! Nice

  • trw

    This is a nice fish.
    However, I get really tired of seeing a photo where the fish/deer/whatever is held a full arms length and a wide angle lens is used.
    Can't you just celebrate for what it is and not what you wanted it to be?
    Look carefully….this guys hand is almost as large as his head !!!! The fish was turned 90 degrees it would be as long as the top of the cap to almost the fisherman's belt (if he had one).

  • tim burnett

    nice fish i caught a 3lb redear out of a private lake in posey county in. it put up one heck of a fight. i was using a lime green rooster tail.

  • nick

    i would like to catch word record breaker fish some day.

  • Robert Huttle

    If all the comedians here got together on they’re bs… That would be a record I’d like to see… Crappie my ass. These are

  • Dennis

    I dream of that kind of catch

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