Record Fish Program

Fishing Regulations Indiana Freshwater Fishing

Four Records Set

Occasionally, the big-fish bite is on.

In the first two months of 2017, it was on for lake whitefish, big time.

Two records were set for the species by anglers fishing Lake Michigan.

First, Josh Pisowicz broke the record set by Dan Rostecki the year before. On Feb. 19, Posowicz was targeting whitefish on the Michigan City pier when he caught a 5-pound, 9-ounce specimen. Pisowicz promptly submitted the required record-fish application to DNR officials. The next day, his fish was certified as breaking the record by 1 ounce.

On Feb. 28, Alexander Ciesielski submitted a record-fish application for a 5-pound, 13-ounce whitefish he had caught near Portage Lakefront Park—on Jan. 21.

Ciesielski was not targeting whitefish, but said he knew as soon as he landed this one that he had a record contender.

DNR officials certified Ciesielski’s record on March 3.

The state established a category for lake whitefish in 2012. Ciesielski’s fish marked the fifth record Indiana lake whitefish.

Whitefish have long been targets of commercial fishing operations in northern Lake Michigan due to demand for their flaky white flesh. Recently, sport anglers started targeting them in southern Lake Michigan.

Whitefish are a great resource for Hoosiers because they are abundant, delicious and accessible to shore anglers, according to DNR Lake Michigan fisheries biologist Brian Breidert.

“And they can be caught using simple techniques, such as bottom fishing with a 1- to 2-ounce weight, a 12- to 24-inch leader, and a small hook baited with waxworms, salmon eggs or bits of night crawler,” Breidert said.

Whitefish can be caught from most of Indiana’s shore access on Lake Michigan.

Typically, the best fishing occurs between November and April, when near-shore water temperatures are below 50 degrees.

Another new species category was added to the record book last year. That happened after Joseph Bickel entered a 0.55-pound, 13-inch skipjack herring he caught on July 23 from the Wabash River in Huntington County.

The final record-breaker for 2017 was caught on Aug. 3, by Nick Waugh. He pulled in a 6.78-pound spotted gar from a gravel pit in Vermillion County.

For more information about Indiana’s Record Fish program, which started in 1963 and is based on weight, go to wildlife.IN.gov/

Indiana Fish Records



Water, County



Atlantic Salmon 14 lb., 4 oz. Lake Michigan (Lake) Gene Tarrant 1979
Bighead Carp 53 lb., 8 oz. White River (Pike) Duane Stafford 2000
Blue Catfish 104 lb. Ohio River Bruce Midkiff 1999
Bluegill 3 lb., 4 oz. Pond (Greene) Harold L. Catey 1972
Bowfin (Dogfish) 16.52 lb. Mutton Creek (Jackson) Paul Huber 2009
Brook Trout 3 lb., 15 1/2 oz. Lake Gage (Steuben) Sonny Bashore 1973
Brown Trout 29.3 lb. Lake Michigan (Lake) Glen Duesing 2006
Buffalo 53.9 lb. Oak Hill Pond (Gibson) Kenneth Houchin 2002
Bullhead 4.9 lb. Potato Creek SP (St. Joseph) Darren Robertson 1994
Burbot 7 lb., 11 oz. Lake Michigan Larry Milicki 1990
Channel Catfish 37 lb., 8 oz. Lake (Vanderburgh) Randy E. Jones 1980
Chinook Salmon 38 lb. Trail Creek (LaPorte) Rich Baker 1980
Cisco 3 lb., 12 oz. Big Cedar Lake (Whitley) Phillip Wisniewski 1980
Coho Salmon 20 lb., 12 oz. Lake Michigan (LaPorte) John Beutner 1972
Common Carp 43 lb., 4 oz. Pike Lake (Kosciusko) Russell Long 1989
Crappie 4 lb., 11 oz. Private Lake (Jennings) Willis Halcomb 1994
Flathead Catfish 79 lb. 8 oz. White River (Lawrence) Glen T. Simpson 1966
Flier 3 1/2 oz. Stream (Jackson) Harold H. Otte 1983
Freshwater Drum 30 lb. White River (Martin) Garland Fellers 1963
Goldeye 2.3 lb. Wabash River (Vermillion) Brock Marietta 2008
Grass Carp 65.2 lb. Private Pond (Morgan) David Hughes 2002
Green Sunfish 1 lb., 10 oz. Pit (Fountain) Terry Keller 1987
Hybrid Striped Bass 22 lb., 2 oz. Tippecanoe River (Carroll) David G. Coffman 2005
Hybrid Walleye 8 lb., 8 oz. Scottsburg Reservoir (Scott) Doug Young 1999
Lake Trout 37.55 lb. Lake Michigan Tyler Kreighbaum 2016
Lake Whitefish 5 lb., 13 oz. Lake Michigan (Portage) Alexander Ciesielski 2017
5 lb., 9 oz. Lake Michigan (LaPorte) Joshua Pisowicz 2017
Largemouth Bass 14 lb., 12 oz. Lake (Harrison) Jenifer Schultz 1991
Longnose Gar 22.32 lb. White River/East Fork (Pike) Mark Brittain 2008
Muskellunge 42 lb., 8 oz. James Lake (Kosciusko) Darrin Conley 2002
Northern Pike 30 lb., 2 oz. Clear Lake (Steuben) Jack Barnes 1992
Pink Salmon 2 lb., 12 1/2 oz. Lake Michigan (Lake) Richard J. Lisac 1985
Rainbow Trout 18 lb., 8 oz. Clear Lake (Steuben) Bill Bigger 1988
Redear Sunfish 3 lb., 10 oz. Lake (Brown) R. Peckman 1974
Rock Bass 3 lb. Sugar Creek (Hancock) David Thomas 1969
Sauger 6 lb., 1 oz Tippecanoe River (Carroll) Mark Bigger 1983
Shortnose Gar 1.58 lb. Wabash River (Wabash) Lindsey Fleshood 2010
Shovelnose Sturgeon 14 lb., 8 oz. Wabash River (Fountain) Mike Latoz 1999
Silver Carp 15 lb, 8 oz. White River/West Fork (Greene) Daniel Keller 2003
Skipjack Herring 0.55 lbs Wabash River (Huntington) Joseph Bickel 2017
Smallmouth Bass 7 lb., 4 oz. Twin Lake (LaGrange) Dana Yoder 1992
Spotted Bass 5 lb., 5 oz. (Vigo) Larry Hinesley Jr. 2006
Spotted Gar 6.78 lb. Gravel Pit (Vermillion) Nick Waugh 2017
Steelhead Trout 26.62 lb. Trail Creek (LaPorte) Evan Nicholson 1999
Striped Bass 39.08 lb. Cecil M. Harden Lake (Parke) Jonathan VanHook 2010
Sucker 12 lb., 3.3 oz White River (Bartholomew) John Britton 1991
Tiger Muskellunge 24 lb. Wolf Lake (Lake) Michael Senics 1995
Tiger Trout 3 lb. Lake Michigan (Lake) Mike Ratter 1978
Walleye 14 lb., 4 oz. Kakakee River (Lake) Leon Richart 1974
14 lb., 4 oz. Tippecanoe River (Pulaski) Donald Tedford 1977
Warmouth 1.4 lb. North Dugger Pit (Sullivan) Jack Tolbert 2002
White Bass 4 lb., 3 oz. Lake Freeman (Carroll) James Wagner 1965
White Catfish 9.72 lb. Pond (Wabash) Melissa Grimes 1985
Yellow Bass 2 lb., 15 oz. Morse Reservoir (Hamilton) Jim Raymer 2000
Yellow Perch 2 lb., 8 oz. Gravel Pit (Vigo) Roy W. Burkel Jr. 1981