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2019 Fish of the Year

Fishing Regulations Icon Indiana Fishing

Indiana’s Most Competitive Year for Big Fish

Since 2000, an average of 56 entries have been submitted for Fish of the Year. In 2019, an all-time high of 98 fish were entered, resulting in 44 awards earned among 31 anglers.

Ron Anderson won in 12 categories, highlighting the diversity of fishing opportunities in Indiana. Those categories included four minnows (hornyhead chub, silver chub, streamline chub and striped shiner), two sunfish (orangespotted and redspotted), two catfish (white and stonecat), two suckers (black buffalo and blue sucker), spotted bass, and spotted gar.

Black crappie, channel catfish, and largemouth bass were the most competitive categories: black crappie and channel catfish each received seven submissions and largemouth bass received eight. Black crappies ranged from 14 to 17 inches. The winning entry was caught at Lilly Lake (Marion County) by James Kellough. Channel catfish entries were between 27 to 33 inches; the largest was caught from Hoffman Lake (Kosciusko County) by Richard Hicks. Largemouth bass were between 21.5 and 26.5 inches; the largest was caught by Mark Holbrook from Bruce Lake (Fulton County) for the second year in a row.

Holbrook also won the golden redhorse category for the second year in a row. He also entered the largest common carp.

It was also a competitive year for smallmouth bass (five entries; 17.0-21.1 inches), Northern pike (five entries; 32.5-44.75 inches), and bowfin (four entries; 24.25-29.5 inches).

Robert Ecenbarger has submitted the winning cisco every year since 2012. This year he entered his largest to date, 16.5 inches, from Little Crooked Lake (Whitley County).

There were also two honorable mention entries this year.

The first was a 35.5 inch albino blue catfish entered by Sidney and Mavis Riker of Wheatland, from the White River (Daviess County). The catch marks the second time an albino of that species has been entered since the program’s 1963 start. The first entry was 28 inches long, caught 20 years ago from the Ohio River (Vanderburgh County) by Brant Gish.

The second honorable mention, a 32.5 inch silver pike, was caught from Pinhook Lake (St. Joseph County) by Joel Williford of Peru. Silver pike have a uniform light gray coloration, compared to Northern pike, which have small, oval shaped white-to-yellowish spots over a dark green background. Although unique, silver pike are not recognized as a distinct species, but a color variation of Northern pike that results from a genetic mutation. DFW has no other record of silver pike being entered, although biologists were made aware of another silver pike that was caught by an ice angler at Pinhook Lake in 2016.

Entering Fish of the Year is easy, and the rules are simple. Visit Fishing.IN.gov for more information.

If you think you’ve caught a winner, there are three easy ways (online, U.S. mail, email) to enter after you measure the fish and have at least one person who is not a relative witness the measurement and include his/her contact information.

  • Online, enter the required information using the online entry form (Fishing.IN.gov and click Record Fish) and submit a photo of the fish and a copy of your fishing license (if required) to recordfish@dnr.IN.gov.
  • By mail, print and complete an entry form (Fishing.IN.gov and click Record Fish) and include a photo of the fish and a copy of your fishing license (if required) to Record Fish Program, Division of Fish and Wildlife, 402 W. Washington St., Room 273, Indianapolis, IN 46204
  • By email, submit electronic version of the entry form and attach a photo of the fish and a copy of your fishing license (if required) to recordfish@dnr.IN.gov.

2019 FISH OF THE YEAR CONTEST WINNERS

Family

Common Name

Length (inches)

Water (County)

Angler

Black Bass Largemouth Bass

26.5

Bruce Lake (Fulton) Mark Holbrook
Smallmouth Bass

21.1

Tippecanoe River (Carroll) Craig Hulsey
Spotted Bass

14.5

Driftwood River (Bartholomew) Ron Anderson
Sunfish Black Crappie

17.0

Lilly Lake (Marion) James Kellough
Bluegill

10.4

Lake of the Woods (Marshall) Richard Wood
Hybrid Sunfish

12.0

Private Pond (Bartholomew) Logan Hoene
Orangespotted Sunfish

4.0

Hovey Lake (Posey) Ron Anderson
Pumpkinseed

9.5

Clear Lake (Steuben) Aaron Voirol
Redear Sunfish

12.0

Hudson Lake (LaPorte) Ken Ryan
Redspotted Sunfish

5.0

River Deshee (Knox) Ron Anderson
Rock Bass

12.0

Lake Maxinkuckee (Marshall) Stuart West
White Crappie

18.0

Monroe Lake (Monroe) Andrew Lee
Catfish Blue Catfish

53.0

Ohio River (Warrick) Trent Thompson
Channel Catfish

33.0

Hoffman Lake (Kosciusko) Richard Hicks
Flathead Catfish

48.0

West Fork White River (Greene) Randy Hennecke
Stonecat

5.0

East Fork White River (Lawrence) Ron Anderson
White Catfish

12.0

Bischoff Reservoir (Ripley) Ron Anderson
Perch Walleye

31.8

Lake Michigan (LaPorte) Ronald Ryba II
Yellow Perch

13.5

Lake Maxinkuckee (Marshall) Jason Weaver
Trout Brown Trout

35.5

Lake Michigan (LaPorte) Jason Speakman
Chinook Salmon

42.2

Salt Creek (Porter) Danny Lunn
Cisco

16.6

Little Crooked Lake (Whitley) Robert Ecenbarger
Coho Salmon

33.0

Lake Michigan (Lake) Craig Rothgeb
Steelhead Trout

38.0

St. Joseph River (St. Joseph) Chris Peabody
True Bass Hybrid Striped Bass

30.0

West Fork White River (Marion) George Morris III
Pike Muskellunge

50.0

Bartley Lake (Noble) Brandon Robinson
Northern Pike

44.8

Snow Lake (Steuben) Adam Smith
Redfin Pickerel

14.0

Mac Joy (Lake) Ken Wyrick
Gar Longnose Gar

60.0

Ohio River (Spencer) Michael King
Spotted Gar

18.0

Beanblossom Creek (Monroe) Ron Anderson
Minnow Common Carp

39.0

Tippecanoe River (Pulaski) Mark Holbrook
Grass Carp

41.0

Wabash River (Wabash) Hannah Fleshood
Hornyhead Chub

7.0

Lick Creek (Orange) Ron Anderson
Silver Chub

6.0

East Fork White River (Martin) Ron Anderson
Streamline Chub

5.0

Blue River (Harrison) Ron Anderson
Striped Shiner

8.0

Clear Creek (Monroe) Ron Anderson
Sucker Black Buffalo

26.0

East Fork White River (Lawrence) Ron Anderson
Blue Sucker

24.0

East Fork White River (Lawrence) Ron Anderson
Golden Redhorse

20.0

Tippecanoe River (Pulaski) Mark Holbrook
Quillback

16.0

Wildcat Creek (Carroll) George Seabolt
Silver Redhorse

28.0

Blue River (Crawford) Marion Saltz
Other Bowfin

29.5

Snow Lake (Steuben) Kaleb Krontz
Freshwater Drum

29.0

Lake Michigan (Porter) Ben Maiorano
Skipjack Herring

16.0

East Fork White River (Lawrence) John Hodges