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Record Fish Program

Only One Record Falls In ’15

Dan Rostecki didn’t catch what he was after while fishing from a Michigan City pier last March, but he did haul in a state-record lake whitefish instead.

“I was out there brown trout fishing on the bottom and thought I had one,” Rostecki said. “It ended up being a whitefish. It’s the first one I’ve ever caught. It was really, really a bonus.”

A record bonus no less.

DNR State Record Fish Program coordinator Jamie Smyth certified the record catch, earning Rostecki a certificate and patch from the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife as recognition of the record.

Rostecki’s catch from Lake Michigan weighed 5 pounds, 8 ounces and topped the previous Indiana record by more than a pound.

Lake whitefish is a relatively new category in the State Record Fish Program. The first year it was included was 2012 after DNR fisheries biologists determined an increasing number of lake whitefish in Indiana waters of Lake Michigan required establishment of a daily bag limit of 12 fish.

The DNR has kept tabs on the largest fish of various species caught in the state’s lakes, rivers and streams for more than 50 years.

Today’s Indiana Record Fish Program recognizes 52 species, from the 104-pound blue catfish that Bruce Midkiff wrestled out of the Ohio River in 1999 to the 3.5-ounce flier that Harold H. Otte plucked from a stream in Jackson County in 1983.

Only one record – a freshwater drum caught by Garland Fellers – still stands from the program’s inaugural year, 1963.

On the other hand, the record for hybrid striped bass has changed repeatedly since it was first recognized in 1985. Jamey Spinks started it all with a rather modest 3-pound, 4-ouncer, but his initial record was bested 15 times over the next five years.

Some anglers luck into catching a record; others put in nearly a lifetime of pursuit. Either way, once an angler has landed the big one, getting into the record book is easy – if the rules are followed to ensure the catch is ruled legitimate.

“The program goes by weight,” Smyth said. “The fish is required to be weighed on a certified scale and observed by two witnesses who are not relatives.”

Some additional requirements include providing photographs of the fish and information on location of the catch. A DNR fisheries biologist may meet with you to make a positive species identification.

Indiana Fish Records

Species

Weight

Water, County

Angler

Year

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

29.03 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 Malicki

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

29 lb., 4 oz.

Lake Michigan

Harold Rodriquez

1993

Lake Whitefish

5 lb., 8 oz.

Lake Michigan

Dan Rostecki

2015

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

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

5.10 lbs

Turtle Creek Reservoir (Sullivan)

Dale Hass

2014

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.

Kankakee 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

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