Record-setting catch

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David Berg
David Berg of Mentor, Ohio, set a new Ohio state record with his yellow perch weighing 2.86 pounds and measuring 15.75 inches long.

The list of Ohio record fish continues to change as local fishermen and women challenge current records with a fish of their own.

Latest to knock a current record from the ranks is David Berg of Mentor, Ohio, with his more than chubby yellow perch that he caught this spring from the near shore waters of Lake Erie.

Record catch

Angler Berg caught the record-breaker April 18, while fishing the big lake near his home. Keeping it as simple as it can be, Berg was using a minnow on a hook, a spinning rod, and braided eight-pound test line.

Berg’s new state record perch weighs an astonishing 2.86 pounds, measures an unheard of 15.75 inches long, and carries a belt popping girth of 13.75 inches.

Considering that Berg’s fish tops the previous record weight of 2.75 pounds and 14.5 inches in length, the new record is worthy of recognition. The previous state record holder was also caught from Lake Erie.

And to understand how hard breaking fish records can be, the previous record stood unchallenged for over 30 years.

Certified catch

Ohio’s state record fish are certified and the records kept by the Outdoor Writers of Ohio, a long-standing formal group of outdoor communicators.

To establish a record contender the fish must be identified by a fish biologist from the Ohio Division of Wildlife and weighed on a certified scale, best found at a local market and weighed on a modern digital scale.

State record fish are determined by weight only — Length and girth are not part of the fish’s eligibility. Possible state record fish can be frozen for verification by officials.
Visit outdoorwritersofohio.org for additional information about the requirements for consideration as a new state record.

Fish Ohio awards

While state records are not easy to break, Ohio anglers can and do collect recognition for catching exceptional fish by earning the Fish Ohio Award.

The following list shows minimum size for each species to earn a Fish Ohio award and should be carried in the tackle box of every fisher: Carp, 26 inches; crappie, 13 inches; drum, 22 inches; LM bass, 21 inches; pike, 32 inches; muskie, 36 inches; sauger, 16 inches; saugeye, 21 inches; SM bass, 20 inches; sunfish, 9 inches; walleye, 28 inches; white bass, 16 inches; and yellow perch, 13 inches.

Anglers will earn a very nice collectible pin for their first entry each year and a “Master Angler” pin for entering four qualifying fish of four different species.

Applications for Fish Ohio entries are accepted online at wildohio.gov.

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Mike Tontimonia has been writing weekly columns and magazine features about the outdoors for over 25 years, a career that continues to hold the same excitement for him as it did at the beginning. Mike is a retired educator, a licensed auctioneer and marketing consultant. He lives in Ravenna, Ohio and enjoys spending time at his Carroll County cabin. Mike has hunted and fished in several states and Canada from the Carolinas to Alaska and from Idaho to Delaware. His readers have often commented that the stories about his adventures are about as close to being there as possible. He is past president of the Outdoor Writers of Ohio and a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. Mike is also very involved in his community as a school board member and a Rotarian.

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