The Casper-area angler became the second teenager to break a state record in Wyoming this year.
What a way to end one day and begin another for a Wyoming teen angler.
After prodding his father to let him make “one more cast, please,” 14-year-old Chris Castleman caught what ended up being a state-record green sunfish, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department reported in a news release.
Fishing with his father, Allen, on June 7 at Bryan Stock Trail Pond near Casper, the kid caught a 12.25-inch, 1-pound, 4-ounce green sunfish that broke an eight-year-old state record by six ounces. But it wasn’t until the next day they knew exactly what they had caught.
The Castlemans knew the fish was exceptionally larger than the sunfish they had been catching, even though they weren’t exactly sure if it was a green sunfish, pumpkinseed or bluegill. Encouraged by other anglers at the pond and a Sportsman’s Warehouse employee, who reportedly said, “That’s the biggest panfish I’ve ever seen,” the Castlemans had the fish checked out.
The next morning, they had the fish weighed on a certified scale at Ridley’s Market, then took it to the WGFD office in Casper, where fisheries supervisor Matt Hahn identified it as a green sunfish.
“This was a one in a thousand, maybe even one in 10,000 fish,” Hahn said.
The fish, caught on a worm and bobber, easily beat the former record (July 2010, Lovell Ponds, 14 ounces).
“Catching a state record was terrific,” the teen said in the news release. “One of the best things was being with my Dad when it happened.”
Castleman is the second Wyoming teen to score a state record this year.
In May, 18-year-old Caleb Salzman drew lots of attention with his 11.51-pound largemouth bass that beat the previous record by nearly four pounds. The fish was caught May 10 at Kleenburn Ponds near Sheridan. >> Read more about Salzman’s catch
ONE MORE THING: On the day of the catch, Chris Castleman was participating in Wyoming Game and Fish’s “Pan Pair Challenge,” which is part of a youth-fishing program that awards young anglers who catch two or more of the state’s panfish species. There are six other challenges in the Wyoming Youth Fish Challenge, from catching native species to the most unique game fish. >> Learn more here