Records are meant to be broken, especially fish records.
Take Ohio’s record fish. There are nearly 50 of them on the official list, an ever-changing tally of the biggest fish that the waters of Ohio can produce.
Well, that’s not true. The record list includes the largest fish caught, measured, weighed, and officially identified. Yep, it’s a lot of hoops for a prospective record buster to jump through, but records, if they are to be broken, deserve to be shoved aside by an unquestionable trophy fish.
Indeed there are records held for the biggest and best of the school. Maybe the fattest, maybe the longest, or perhaps a combination of both of those. But to be sure, the record-setter goes to the heaviest. A single ounce may be the deciding factor.
The Ohio record state record fish list continues to be challenged as potential record fish are submitted by skilled and/or lucky anglers who legally catch what they feel might be a record buster.
The best part of about the Ohio record list is that outside influences play no part. The list is kept by the Outdoor Writers of Ohio and monitored carefully by the organization’s Ohio State Record Fish committee.
As mentioned, prospective record fish are judged by weight only, and that weight must be determined on a certified accurate scale. They are also determined to be the correct species by knowledgeable fishery officials.
And, like any record list, each one is subject to change. The only exceptions would be for fish that are no longer found in state waters.
Who would have thought the state record bowfin of nearly 8 pounds — a record that stood for nearly 30 years — would ever be beat out, but in 2016, it was bumped by a bowfin in excess of 9 pounds.
And guess what, bowfins, which are not an everyday hook and line catch, are an occasional prey for bowfishers. Go figure.
Young or old
More recently, another record that stood just for just over a decade was knocked off this past summer by a 9-year-old angler who bagged a 1.2-pound green sunfish.
Nothing fancy here, just a kid with a spincaster, a crawler, and a farm pond.
Oh, the ever-changing record list goes on and on, successful entries recognized and hopeful entries rejected.
On the books
Some records will never be broken — probably not, but the word never is nothing more than a maybe and perhaps a challenge. Take the never-to-be-broken 37-pound striped bass record that was taken at West Branch Reservoir in 1993. Or the 31-pound tiger muskie that earned top spot in 2006.
Maybe, just maybe, even though they quit making these artificial, but well-intended, cross breeds long ago, there just might be a leftover giant still roaming those same waters.
Every angler should have a copy of the Ohio record list in his or her tackle box along with the rules and guidelines required for entering a prospective challenger. Go online to the Outdoor Writers of Ohio to see the list.
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