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NJ State Record White Crappie Caught

September 29, 2009

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The NJ DEP Division of Fish and Wildlife has announced that William "Bumbo" Lewis of Jackson, NJ, made his way onto the State Record Fish list this summer by landing a new state record white crappie on May 2. Lewis was fishing in Mercer Lake, Mercer County, when he reeled in the 3 lbs. 11 oz. fish, unmistakably beating the previous record, caught in 2005, by 13 ounces. To put that in perspective, this new state record is a whopping 23% heavier than the previous record! The new record measured 18 inches and had a 14 inch girth.

Lewis was fishing for crappie from his boat when he caught the fish. "When the fish hit I set the hook and the first thing I thought was it was heavy for a crappie...maybe a bass, muskie, or carp," said Lewis. "Then it jumped and cleared the water with a big head shake. I worked the fish to the boat and lipped it."

Lewis knew his fish was impressive, but did not know it was a record until he verified that it was a white crappie in his fish ID book. White crappie and black crappie are similar in appearance, however the black crappie record (4lbs. 8 oz.) was quite a bit larger than the previous white crappie record (2lbs. 14 oz.).

Although an avid muskie, bass and pickerel fisherman, William is no stranger to big crappie. In 2004 he caught a 3 lbs. 2 oz. crappie, which not only earned him a Skillful Angler Award, but it was the largest crappie of all submitted in 2004.

The record fish was caught on a white Mister Twister grub on a small jig head. Four-pound Trilene XL line was used with a St. Croix rod and a Shimano reel.

For more information on the Record Fish Program visit www.njfishandwildlife.com/recfish.htm.

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Last Updated: September 29, 2009