But who hasn't dreamed, from time to time, about catching a world record fish? A little far fetched you say - probably, but why not consider an easier to attain goal - an Ontario record fish. When people think of record fish, what comes to mind are bruiser bass, monstrous musky or stupendous salmon. If you spend enough time on the water, you may have already caught that record fish without even knowing it! Most people would recognise a large largemouth, but what about those fish we normally shrug off as large but non-targetted pests: rockbass, sunfish, catfish etc.
As an example, lets look at the record brown bullhead catfish. It was 2.37 Lbs. and caught in an un-named pond along highway 401 in July 1989 by Jeff Sereda. If he had caught it before the spring spawn, the fish quite possibly could have weighed up to .75 Lbs. more!
Big Bulls by Size 11 Clodhopper
For the past few years my friends and I have made several mid-spring pilgrimages to a Lake Simcoe trbutary in search of pre-spawn, migrating fish. One trip this year, was excepionally productive with over 300 caught in an afternoon, many weighing more than 3 Lbs.! Later that night, I personally had at least 3 record fish for dinner without even considering how special they really were.
I guess I know better now, but after this posting, the opportunity to have my name associated with a positive record may have passed me by.
On another occasion a few years earlier, a friend (from eastern Canada) came to me with a fish he couldn't identify. Not surprising considering how often you see a rockbass over 18" long. The amazing thing was that it was his second of the day and the first one was larger. He released it thinking that what he had caught was a good sized bass, which were out of season.
These accounts are frequently shrugged off as "fish stories", exagerations, or even worse "it was only a rockbass". ONLY A ROCKBASS INDEED! Whether you fish for fun and dinner, or you crave attention and notoriety, check out the O.F.A.H Record Fish Registry before your next trip. It would be a shame to eat a potential record fish!