Recent state fishing records were reported in Missouri and Indiana for new species and angling method categories.
Record-breaking angling isn’t only reserved for glamorous fish species like largemouth bass and muskies.
How about blue suckers and lake whitefish?
Those state records fell recently in Missouri and Indiana, according to those state fisheries agencies, proving that fishing in any form, for any reason, is a good thing.
‘Alternative Method’ Blue Sucker
Bryant Rackers of Bonnots Mill, Mo., snagged a 9-pound, 1-ounce blue sucker on April 21 that was certified as an “alternative method” record by the Missouri Department of Conservation, according to a news release. Missouri compiles records for rod-and-reel and alternative methods.
The fish, which beat the previous record of 7-6, was caught on the Osage River. “I knew I snagged a couple pretty nice fish during that day, but I didn’t think anything about it until I weighed the larger blue sucker, and after checking online I realized that I had a new state record fish,” Rackers told the MDC.
“This hopefully won’t be the last time you see my name because I’m going after other state records now.”
Rackers plans to get the state record mounted.
Lake Whitefish State Record Falls Again
Long a target for commercial fishermen in northern Lake Michigan, lake whitefish are a becoming a favorite species for sport anglers to the south.
That increase prompted Indiana to set bag limits, and since 2012 establish a state-record angling category for the tasty fish.
The record has been broken several times since — six times, to be exact.
Dustin Meeter of Crown Point became the latest record-holder with a 6-pound, 3-ounce lake whitefish caught April 13 on Lake Michigan near Burns Harbor in Portage. The previous record was around a half-pound lighter, according to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
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Meeter, who had limited out on coho salmon while fishing from a boat with friends earlier in the day, caught the record after they headed toward shore to jig for lake trout. “Within a minute, I caught that whitefish,” Meeter told the DNR. “It was the best day of fishing I’ve ever had.”
Best fishing time and locations in Indiana waters have been from shore along marinas and breakwaters during March and April, and then again during spawning in November. Fishing is best when water temperatures are below 50 degrees, according to DNR Lake Michigan fisheries biologist Brian Breidert.
Shoreline anglers often bottom-fish using a small weight, a 12- to 24-inch leader, a small hook and single salmon egg or piece of night crawler. Jigging is productive for boat anglers in the spring. Lake whitefish feed on the bottom on zebra mussels, bugs and worms.