Kansas Angler Reels in Record-Breaking Crappie, Shattering 59-Year-Old Record

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In a remarkable feat, a Kansas angler has managed to catch a historic crappie, shattering a 59-year-old state record. The incredible catch, which took place at a private pond in southeast Kansas, has left the fishing community in awe and sparked conversations about the potential for other large crappies in the area.

Franklin Johnson, an experienced angler from Kansas, made the record-breaking catch on April 1st, 2024. The crappie, weighing in at a whopping 4.88 pounds, broke the previous state record of 4.02 pounds, which was held by Hazel Fey since 1964. Johnson’s catch measured an impressive 22.25 inches in length and had a girth of 17.75 inches.

Johnson had been enjoying a leisurely day of fishing when he felt a strong pull on his line. To his astonishment, he reeled in the massive crappie, quickly realizing that he had caught something extraordinary. Johnson, who has been fishing for over 20 years, said in an interview with FOX4KC that he was “shocked and excited” by the size of the fish.

After landing the catch, Johnson contacted the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism (KDWPT), which sent a representative to weigh and measure the crappie. Once the KDWPT confirmed the fish’s weight and measurements, Johnson’s catch was officially declared as the new state record.

The news of Johnson’s achievement quickly spread through the fishing community, as anglers from all over the state and beyond congratulated him on his historic catch. Many have taken to social media to share their excitement and admiration for Johnson’s accomplishment.

The previous record-holder, Hazel Fey, had held the title for an astounding 59 years. Fey caught her 4.02-pound crappie in 1964 at the Woodson State Fishing Lake. The longevity of her record only serves to highlight the extraordinary nature of Johnson’s catch.

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To see other state records, visit https://ksoutdoors.com/Fishing/State-Record-Fish

Crappies, which are part of the sunfish family, are popular among anglers for their excellent taste and for the challenge they provide. They can be found in various bodies of water across North America, including lakes, rivers, and ponds. Crappies are known for their elusive nature, making them a rewarding catch for those who can locate and reel them in.

Johnson’s record-breaking catch has prompted discussions around the potential for other large crappies in Kansas. Some believe that this may be an indication of an undiscovered population of sizable crappies in the region. This possibility has excited many anglers, who are now eager to explore Kansas waters in search of their own trophy-sized crappie.

In addition to the excitement generated by the size of Johnson’s catch, the story has also inspired anglers to revisit the importance of responsible fishing practices. As the state record holder, Johnson’s story will serve as a reminder to anglers about the importance of ethical angling, adhering to catch limits, and practicing catch and release when appropriate.

The record-breaking crappie has not only put Kansas in the spotlight within the angling community, but it has also encouraged both experienced and novice anglers to take to the state’s waters in search of their own personal bests. With the promise of potential trophy-sized crappies lurking beneath the surface, Kansas is quickly becoming a hotbed of angling excitement.

In the end, Franklin Johnson’s record-breaking crappie catch is a testament to his skill, patience, and dedication as an angler. His accomplishment will undoubtedly inspire generations of anglers to come, and it will serve as a powerful reminder that the waters of Kansas still hold many surprises for those willing to explore them.

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As the fishing community celebrates Johnson’s achievement, it’s clear that his story will live on as a shining example of perseverance and the potential for greatness that lies beneath the surface of the state’s lakes, rivers, and ponds.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>