February 03, 2012
An Alicia, Ark., man landed a state record saugeye Monday -- and he almost didn't know it.
According to the Paragould Daily Press, Chris Owen caught the 9-pound, .02-ounce saugeye on his third cast of the day at Lake Frierson, shattering the previous record of 6.4 pounds.
At first, Owen believed he had caught a walleye and planned to fillet it and give it to a friend. But something told him to stop by the ranger's office to get it measured. Now instead of winding up on the grill, it's going to be mounted on Owen's wall.
"I didn't realize how big it was and out of curiosity I stopped by the ranger's station and asked him, and what they stocked the lake with," Owen said. "I told him I had one in the vehicle and he brought his scales out there and he told me I had a caught a state record.
"I don't know what made me turn around. My buddy eats walleye and I was just going fillet it up for him. I'm glad I did [stop at the ranger's office], or I would have had a record fish in my freezer."
Lake Frierson State Park Superintendent Justin Huss said saugeye -- a hybrid between a female walleye and a male sauger -- will typically take artificial lures and crankbaits, but will also bite at minnows and goldfish.
"Another nice thing about saugeye is that these fish are active in the cooler months of the year, as this catch demonstrates," Huss said, "and they offer a year-round fishing opportunity. They are also excellent table fare."
Huss added that he's sure Owen's catch isn't the only state record lurking in Lake Frierson.
"These fish thrive here and we are confident that there are larger ones than this swimming around in Lake Frierson," he said. "I expect to see more records set in the future."