Lake Ontario has a reputation for being full of freshwater drum, and on June 14 James VanArsdall reinforced that reputation by pulling out a 26-pound, nine-ounce fish to break the New York state record. According to the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation, the 33.5-inch drum surpassed the previous record by over two pounds.
VanArsdall’s catch marks the second New York state record fish in the past three months. In May, Eric Lester brought in the second-heaviest freshwater fish in the state’s history when he caught a 60-pound inland striped bass.
“This latest state record is another great example of how New York continues to provide excellent fishing opportunities and they continue to grow under Governor Cuomo’s NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative,” said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. “From the Great Lakes to Long Island and everything in between, the possibilities are endless for eager anglers.”
Freshwater drum, commonly known as sheepshead, are named after the sound the males produce while swimming. Drum are also the only native freshwater fish in North America that produce planktonic eggs, which drift with the current. Due to this, sheepshead can be found in many rivers and lakes as far north as the Hudson Bay and as south as Guatemala. Anglers may note that freshwater drum are usually nocturnal and can put up quite the fight when hooked.
Image courtesy New York Department of Environmental Conservation