You know you’ve caught a big fish when its belly is busting at the seams. That’s exactly what David Berg’s new Ohio State-Record yellow perch looked like when it was caught from shore.
On April 18, 2016, David Berg of Mentor, Ohio, caught the new state-record yellow perch from Lake Erie’s shoreline in Lake County, Ohio. It was 15.75 inches long with a girth of 13.75 inches. The record fish initially weighed 2.9 pounds at Harbor Bait and Tackle in Painesville, Ohio.
Berg and his brother Fred were fishing from shore at the mouth of the Grand River in Fairport Harbor, Ohio, hoping for smallmouth bass or anything that was willing to bite. Berg was using a 5-foot Triumph spinning rod with perch rigs attached to 8-pound Spiderwire braid.
Early in the afternoon Berg caught the massive perch, which was so close to spawning it was spilling eggs. Typically, he would have released the spawner, but when he looked up the record on his phone he realized he had a chance. But his brother wanted to keep fishing for another four hours because they were catching drum, catfish and perch.
Initially, the certification on the scale had lapsed, therefore Berg’s record was not accepted. After working through some obstacles, the jumbo perch was eventually accepted as the new Ohio record at 2.86 pounds.
Ohio state records are certified by State Record Fish Committee of the Outdoor Writers of Ohio.