Crawler-Caught Hybrid Sunfish is State Record

Crawler-Caught Hybrid Sunfish is State Record
A closeup view of the new state-record hybrid sunfish, caught this summer by Joel Heeringa of St. Joseph, out of Lake Anne in Grand Mere State Park. (Photo courtesy Michigan DNR)

Michigan has a new state-record hybrid sunfish, caught this summer at Lake Anne in Grand Mere State Park in Berrien County.

Joel Heeringa, of St. Joseph, Michigan, caught the fish July 9 while still-fishing with a nightcrawler.

The record fish weighed 1.8 pounds and measured 11.7 inches.

The record was verified by Brian Gunderman, a DNR fisheries unit manager for southern Lake Michigan.

Because the fish was believed to be a hybrid, additional identification was required, delaying final confirmation.

The fish also was examined by University of Michigan fisheries experts who confirmed it indeed was a hybrid sunfish.

The previous hybrid sunfish state record actually was a tie between two fish: one caught May 28, 1988, by Daniel Manville on Arbutus Lake in Grand Traverse County and one caught June 1, 1988, by Lloyd Jarman, Jr. on Doan’s Lake in Allegan County.

State Record in MichiganA closeup view of the new state-record hybrid sunfish, caught this summer by Joel Heeringa of St. Joseph, out of Lake Anne in Grand Mere State Park. (Photo courtesy of Michigan DNR)

Both fish weighed 1.44 pounds.

State records in Michigan are recognized by weight only.

To qualify for a state record, fish must exceed the current listed state-record weight and identification must be verified by a DNR fisheries biologist.


For more information, visit or contact Brian Gunderman at 269-685-6851, ext. 145.


>> Click here for more stories about state records 

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