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UPDATE: Florida Record Crappie a Fake and FWC Responds

Facebook/Fishing Florida Radio

So as it turns out, the Internet wins again…

Recently, you may have seen a giant crappie from Florida come across your timeline. I did just a few days ago and was blown away by how big it looked.

Immediately, news started flying that this crappie was a pending state record in Florida. As it turns out, that isn’t the case at all.

Shortly after this piece was published, we were contacted by BooDreaux from Fishing Florida Radio with BooDreaux, Captain Mike Ortego and Steve Chapman. He explained that they were contacted by an official from Crappie Masters who stated that they uncovered the crappie in question was not actually caught in Florida, but instead, was caught in Missouri and not a record. 

As seen on Crappie Masters, this very giant crappie was posted on their page on March 8, 2016. From there, who knows how it got attributed to Florida, but we all know how the the Internet works. Unfortunately, as the saying goes, a lie can get around the world twice before the truth can even get its pants on.

We were also contacted by Paul Thomas, a fisheries biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commision. He shared quite a bit of insight into the matter.

“If this had happened at all we would have been contacted along with our Northeast Regional Office and one of my colleagues who is assigned to the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes” said Thomas. “None of us were contacted other than a second hand question from a local fish camp asking if we had heard anything definite.”

Paul then broke down exactly how the process should work if a Florida angler were to catch a fish big enough to break a record.

“It’s not complicated, certified state record fish must be legally caught using an active hook-and-line method (including a proper license or exemption) by sport fishing methods, identified by a Commission biologist and weighed on a certified scale,” he said.

However, that wasn’t all. He also went into a little more detail.

“To set a new record, you just need to exceed the certified records by the amount specified below; if you catch such a fish, contact the appropriate regional office,” Thomas continued. “These records are updated as soon as they are verified. To replace a record, versus tying one the difference should exceed the following: (i) nearest one-quarter ounce for fish up to five pounds, (ii) to the nearest one-half ounce for fish more than five pounds and up to 10 pounds, and (iii) to the nearest one ounce for fish more than 10 pounds.”

A very big thanks goes out to BooDreaux, Paul Thomas, and the Florida FWC for helping us set the record straight on this non record crappie.

We apologize for jumping the gun, but the resulting learning opportunity was too good to leave alone.

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UPDATE: Florida Record Crappie a Fake and FWC Responds