Wisconsin DNR

Mother Tops Daughter With New Pumpkinseed Record

A Wisconsin mother broke the standing state record for pumpkinseed. Her daughter held the standing record.

I guess when you're a serious, lifelong panfish angler you have a pretty fair chance of getting in the record book. And, when you pass that passion onto your kids, it doesn't seem all that unusual that someone in the family might catch a record fish. But this story of a record-breaking pumpkinseed might qualify as a tad bit unusual.

Last year, Erika Carter of DePere set the Wisconsin catch-and-release record for pumpkinseed, with an 8-3/4-inch fish. Almost exactly a year later, Brenda Carter, Erika's mother, set the new state pumpkinseed record, topping her daughter's fish by a 1/4 inch with a 9-incher.

Adding to the coincidental nature of the story is the fact both anglers pulled their fish from Lake Noquebay in Marinette County, where the family owns a cottage. 

"You never plan to catch something that big. It's a gift," Brenda told the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. "That record was not something that was a goal for me. Erika goes to UW-Stevens Point for fisheries and she was very excited to have set the record."


Brenda Carter, left, and her daughter Erika with their two state record live release pumpkinseeds. Wisconsin DNR

When Erika set the record a year ago, Brenda was fishing with her. This time, it was Erika who helped her mother fill out the paperwork for the new record.

"We thought we had to beat the record by 1/2 inch but Erika saw we only needed to beat it by 1/4 inch, and my fish did," Brenda said. "She encouraged me to fill out the paperwork and send it in to get the record."

Brenda smilingly added, "My daughter says (her mom setting the new fish record) gives her a goal to shoot for. It could be by the end of the summer. We hope to catch a bigger one someday!"

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