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Indiana

Fishing

Fishing

Fish of the Year

2021: FOTY Grows Again

Four new species made the list in 2021.

Indiana’s Fish of the Year (FOTY) program grew for the fifth consecutive year in 2021, with 59 anglers submitting a record 117 entries of 54 species, also a record. Four species made their first appearance on the FOTY list, including brindled madtom, burbot, common shiner, and mooneye. Common catches missing from this year’s list were brown, rainbow, and lake trout, Chinook salmon, and striped bass.

Paul Reschke took top honors for the longest fish with his 54-inch muskellunge from Lake Webster. Reschke caught the giant while ice fishing and immediately released it after measurement. Ron Anderson caught the smallest FOTY winner of 2021, a 4-inch brindled madtom, a small member of the catfish family. Anderson won a total of five FOTY awards this year, tying another river angler, Liu He. Surprisingly, five was not enough to claim the most awards because Joe Johnson garnered six, catching each from either the Ohio or Wabash rivers.

The Wabash had the most record fish in 2021, yielding eight winning entries. Four winners each came from the Tippecanoe River, the Kankakee River, and the East Fork of the White River. Rivers and streams accounted for 35 of the 56 awards.

Anglers who plan to submit entries in 2022 must provide a photo showing the full length of their catch while on a measuring board or tape to be eligible.

If you think you’ve caught a winner, there are three easy ways to enter.

  • Online: Enter the required information using the online Record Fish entry form on fishing.IN.gov, then submit a photo of the fish showing the measurement and a copy of your fishing license (if required) to recordfish@dnr.IN.gov.
  • By Mail: Print and complete an entry form from the Record Fish page on fishing.IN.gov. Mail the completed form to Record Fish Program, Division of Fish & Wildlife, 402 W. Washington St., Room 273, Indianapolis, IN 46204, and include a photo of the fish showing the measurement and a copy of your fishing license (if required).
  • By email: Submit an 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.

Winners are notified by mail and receive an award certificate and a commemorative patch.

Family

Species

Length (inches)

Location (County)

Angler

Black Bass

Largemouth Bass

22.5

Private Lake (Elkhart)

Brock Yoder

Smallmouth Bass

22.0

Lake Gage (Steuben)

Mike Grime

Sunfish

Black Crappie

16.0

Pine Lake (LaPorte)

Ron Ryba II

Bluegill

10.9

Yellowwood Lake (Brown)

Blake Thompson

Longear Sunfish

5.5

Mud Creek (Daviess)

Will Burch

Pumpkinseed

9.3

St. Joseph River (Elkhart)

Craig Baumgardner

Redear Sunfish (tie)

11.8

Frog Pit (Pike)

Cynthia Wells

Redear Sunfish (tie)

11.8

Wampler Lake (Greene)

Vern Fisher

Rock Bass

11.0

Tippecanoe R. (Tippecanoe)

Liu He

Warmouth

9.8

Private Lake (Warrick)

Brian Ranes

White Crappie

17.3

Private Lake (Ripley)

Chris Buelter

Catfish

Brindled Madtom

4.0

Sugar Creek (Parke)

Ron Anderson

Brown Bullhead

14.5

Lake Manitou (Fulton)

Randy Hazen

Channel Catfish

33.0

Martin Lake (Lagrange)

Joshua Sheets

Flathead Catfish

51.0

EF White River (Lawrence)

Carl McCarty

Yellow Bullhead

12.5

Round Lake (Whitley)

Dan Bickel

Perch

Logperch

6.0

Boggs Creek (Martin)

Robert Bradley

Sauger

19.0

Wabash River (Tippecanoe)

Jonah Switzer

Walleye

26.0

Kankakee River (Starke)

Mark Holbrook

Yellow Perch

13.5

Lake Michigan (Lake)

Anthony Talarico Jr.

Trout/Salmon

Coho Salmon

32.0

Lake Michigan (LaPorte)

Sean Coffer

Steelhead

44.0

Salt Creek (Porter)

Danny Lunn

True Bass

Hybrid Striped Bass

19.8

Tippecanoe River (White)

Liu He

White Bass (tie)

18.0

Ohio River (Clark)

Joe Johnson

White Bass (tie)

18.0

Mississinewa Lake (Wabash)

Mike Fleshood

Yellow Bass

10.8

Private Pond (Lawrence)

Kaylee Myers

Pike

Muskellunge

54.0

Lake Webster (Kosciusko)

Paul Reschke

Northern Pike

42.8

Pigeon River (LaGrange)

Stu Swink III

Redfin Pickerel

10.9

Loomis Lake (Porter)

Joe Loewe

Minnow

Common Carp

26.0

Kankakee River (Starke)

Mark Holbrook

Grass Carp

50.8

Geist Reservoir (Hamilton)

Brock Holmes

Silver Carp

31.0

Wabash River (Huntington)

Dan Bickel

Creek Chub

10.5

Salt Creek (Porter)

Anthony Talarico Jr.

Hornyhead Chub

7.5

Salt Creek (Porter)

Liu He

Silver Chub

6.3

Wabash River (Tippecanoe)

Joe Johnson

Common Shiner

9.6

Turkey Creek (LaGrange)

Stu Swink III

Golden Shiner

10.0

Yellowwood Lake (Brown)

Dennis Thompson

Sucker

Bigmouth Buffalo

38.0

Wabash River (Huntington)

Dan Bickel

Black Buffalo

38.0

Tippecanoe River (Carroll)

Carl Theede

Smallmouth Buffalo

23.5

Ohio River (Clark)

Joe Johnson

Blue Sucker

28.0

Tippecanoe River (White)

Liu He

Northern Hogsucker

13.0

EF White River (Jackson)

Ron Anderson

Quillback

15.0

Wabash River (Tippecanoe)

Jonah Switzer

Golden Redhorse

18.0

Kankakee River (Starke)

Mark Holbrook

Shorthead Redhorse

17.5

EF White River (Jackson)

Ron Anderson

Silver Redhorse

23.3

Kankakee River (Starke)

Stuart West

White Sucker

20.5

Whitewater River (Franklin)

Ron Anderson

Other

Bowfin

22.5

Kankakee River (Starke)

Mark Holbrook

Burbot

29.0

Lake Michigan (LaPorte)

Anthony Talarico Jr.

Freshwater Drum

27.5

Private Pond (Huntington)

Dan Bickel

Gizzard Shad

17.0

Tippecanoe River (White)

Liu He

Goldeye

16.0

Wabash River (Tippecanoe)

Joe Johnson

Longnose Gar

41.0

Wabash River (Tippecanoe)

Jonah Switzer

Mooneye

11.3

EF White River (Jackson)

Ron Anderson

Shovelnose Sturgeon

24.0

Wabash River (Tippecanoe)

Joe Johnson

Skipjack Herring

14.5

Ohio River (Clark)

Joe Johnson