Bobby Parkhurst, of Topeka, caught a giant crappie on March 5 and earned himself a spot in the Kansas state record book. Parkhurst’s 4.07-pound white crappie breaks a record that stood for nearly 60 years, according to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. Parkhurst hauled the slab out of Pottawatomie State Fishing Lake No. 2, a small, 75-acre reservoir located near Manhattan. He was using a live minnow for bait.
The state-record white crappie was officially accepted on April 4, after the required 30-day waiting period had expired. Parkhurst went through all the steps for certification, including weighing the fish on a certified scale, according to KDWP assistant director of fisheries John Reinke.
“As fisheries biologists, we get the chance to see a lot of big fish, but this one is certainly for the books,” Reinke said in a press release. “This crappie measured in at 18 inches long and 14 inches in girth, so it truly deserves a spot on the state record list.”
Parkhurst’s record crappie beats out the previous state record, held by angler Frank Miller, by half a pound. Miller caught that 17.5-inch fish from a farm pond in Greenwood County on March 30, 1964. He was also using a live minnow for bait.
Both white and black crappies can be found in Kansas. It can be difficult to tell the two apart, and the best method is to count the spines in the dorsal fin. A black crappie typically has seven to eight spines, while a white crappie has five or six.
The Kansas state-record black crappie was caught back in 1957. It weighed 4.63 pounds and was 22 inches long. Angler Hazel Fey caught the crappie out of Woodson State Fishing Lake. For bait, Fey was using…you guessed it…a live minnow.