Pennsylvania Record Breaking Yellow Perch Hooked In Lake Erie

Man catching Fish
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission

Kirk Rudsinski from Pennsylvania has been fishing Lake Erie for the last 45 years.

He’s hooked his fair share of yellow perch, so he knew had something special when he started reeling in this little piggy.

That special perch he caught a few weeks ago was just certified by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission as the new state record.

It weighed 2.98 pounds on a certified scale, which the state rounded up to 3 pounds. The fish measured 16 7/8 inches long and 14 inches in diameter. Exceptionally large for such a little species of fish.

The new record is two ounces bigger than the previous state record, but still 5 ounces smaller than the massive chub we saw in Virginia recently.

He will have the new record perch mounted by a taxidermist.

Wiggly live emerald shiners was the bait of choice, with 10-pound test braided line with an 8-pound monofilament leader and a nice pair of size 4 hooks. The ideal rig for big perch.

They started casting into a strong current, and right when the magic hour set in, Rudzinski felt it. A huge pull on the line:

“When I felt the pull, I thought for sure that I had a double. My drag was set pretty loose and as I was reeling, the fish was taking some line.  As it got closer the boat, I realized that it was a single fish and I told Sam he’d better grab the net!”

Once his buddy got a net on the fish and the pulled it into the boat, the reality set in that this might be a recording breaking fish.

“Oh, my gosh! This has to be a state record. I’ve been fishing on Lake Erie for 45 years and I just love fishing for Yellow Perch, so I’ve seen a lot of them.  

Then I saw a few eggs start to drop out of the fish, and I worried that if it was a potential state record, it was going to be losing weight quickly.”

He kept it on ice until they could certify the catch:

“It’s a thrill to know that there are big fish like this out there. Walleye fishing has been world-class on Lake Erie for several years now, but the yellow perch fishing has been a challenge.

We’re in a bit of a decline. It’s not only a thrill to have this record, but this big fish is a really positive sign of good things to come.”

For more information on fishing in Pennsylvania, or to buy your Pennsylvania fishing license, please check in with the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission.

The Commission provides a great informational guide for new anglers and also offers educational programs designed for families with little or no fishing experience and a detail map of public fishing areas.

Families will learn basic fishing skills and have an opportunity to practice those skills while fishing together during the program. In addition to Family Fishing, there are specialized programs for family ice fishing, family fly-fishing and a SMART angler program for youth between the ages of 8 and 12.

You can click here for the full list of education fishing workshops and events. 

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