An ice fisherman caught a whale of a yellow perch, but some anglers are suggesting that this Iowa perch shouldn't qualify for the state record.
Iowa angler Royce Krummen was ice fishing a private pond in Dickinson County on Feb. 16, 2019 when he hooked what he thought might be a bass.
As the fish got to the ice hole, however, Krummen realized that he had a huge perch at the end of his line. In fact, the fish turned out to the new Iowa state record.
Krummen was jigging waxies when he saw his rod tip bend.
"The fish made one good run," he recalled, "and then I was able to bring it back toward the hole. When I got it close to the bottom of the hole, I saw the tail and thought it must be a big perch. Then I thought it was maybe a bass. Finally, when I got its head to the hole, I saw it was definitely a big perch!"
Krummen Googled the state's record perch and found that it currently stood at 2.70 pounds and measured 16 inches in length. He knew his fish was close.
"My first thoughts were to either throw it back or put it on the wall." he said.
He headed to Kabele's Trading Post in Spirit Lake to get an official measurement and weigh the perch on a certified scale. The owners of Kabele's weighed and measured the fish. Once they saw that it beat the previous record, they called the Iowa DNR office. Two agents came to the shop to record the weigh in.
Krummen's perch weighed a whopping 2.79 pounds and measured 16.40 inches. That was good enough to qualify the fish as the new Iowa state record.
"It's still hard to believe," Krummen said. "I've caught big perch before, up to 14¼ inches, but never something like this."
However, not everyone believes that Krummen's fish should be the new state record. They claim that since he caught it on private land that it should not qualify.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources shared pics of Krummen with his catch, and his story sparked a lot of comments. A good number of people acknowledged that it was a great fish, but declared that it shouldn't count as a state record.
"While it's a fish of a lifetime, we should not allow private water fish as records," said one.
"I don't feel like fish from private water should be able to be entered. Nice fish tho!," said another.
"That should not be a state record. Congratulations on catching it but if it's going to be a state record other people should be able fish that private pond," chimed someone else. "I'm sorry but state record should come from lakes that everyone can fish."
Others were alright with the new record. One angler said, "What is the difference, it was born, raised, and grew up in water whether a farmer's pond or a state park lake, it is still a catchable fish."
Others defended Krummen's new state record fish as a legit catch, claiming the proverbial farm pond is still within Iowa's borders.
What do you think? Should a fish caught on private land be considered for the state record books?