Fifty-nine years ago last month, Frank Miller of Eureka, Kansas, reeled in a state-record white crappie that tipped scales at just over 4 pounds, setting a mark that has seemed unbeatable ever since. But early last month, a Kansas fisherman named Bobby Parkhurst caught a slab crappie that outweighed Millers fish by a mere .05 pounds. And now it’s official. The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) announced Parkhurst’s new record catch in a press release on April 4, after the state’s mandatory 30-day waiting period had passed.
Parkhurst caught his record crappie while drowning minnows at Pottawatomie State Fishing Lake No. 2 near Topeka. The monster crappie weighed 4.07 pounds, “the equivalent of six cans of soup,” according to KDWP. The state agency’s Assistant Director of Fisheries John Reinke inspected and measured the fish, using a certified scale on the same day that Parkhurst landed the fish.
“As fisheries biologists, we get the chance to see a lot of big fish,” Reinke said. “But this one is certainly for the books. This crappie measured in at 18 inches long and 14 inches in girth, so it truly deserves a spot on the state record list.”
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The white crappie that Frank Miller caught in 1964 measured 17.5 inches long. Like Parkhurst, Miller caught his lunker while fishing with minnow.
White crappie are one of two species of freshwater crappie found in North America. Originally from the Mississippi watershed and the Great Lakes, crappie were widely stocked throughout the United States and Canada in the 1800s and 1900s and have since become a favorite panfish for catching and eating. Though they rarely exceed 11 inches or 3 pounds, the U.S. record, caught in Mississippi in 1957, is 5 pounds, 3 ounces.