It's been a banner year for records and the new Pennsylvania perch record only confirms it.
Most anglers that catch a state record fish often talk about all the skill, prep work, and dedication that went into making it happen. For Brian Clark, he just happened to be in the right place at the right time. As a matter of fact, he was fishing in the same spot hundreds of others perch fishermen fish on Lake Erie all the time. As luck would have it, Clark just happened to be the one who hooked into a record Pennsylvania perch out of the lot.
"I've seen two perch longer than mine in my life, but they were skinny," said Clark, in an interview. "This fish was incredibly fat with eggs and overloaded with shiners. The girth was about 14 inches."
If anyone would know anything about big perch, it would undoubtedly be Brian Clark. As captain of the perch charter boat, the Edward John, he's seen his fair share of big fish.
"It was so cold we were using salted minnows instead of live minnows because we didn't want to put our hands in the water," Clark said in regards in the terrible weather conditions on the day he made the catch.
It was later that morning that he finally set hooks into the big Pennsylvania record perch.
"When I saw it was a perch and how big it was, I pretty much lunged at it," he said. "I grabbed it around the head with my one hand and got it in the boat, then I measured it and saw it was just under 16 inches".
After a quick trip to finding certified scales, it was officially registered at 2-pounds, 14-ounces. This big perch broke the previous record by three ounces cementing it in history.
"There were 10 other boats around me when this happened and any one of those guys could have caught that fish," he admitted.
At least this fisherman is honest.