When Richard Knisley first hooked a massive hybrid striped bass late last month, he initially mistook it for a good-sized catfish. The 41-year-old angler was fishing in Ohio’s Deer Creek Lake on May 24 when he reeled in the state record fish, which he said was the first striped bass he ever caught.
“When I got him close to the net, I couldn’t tell what he was,” Knisley told The Columbus Dispatch. “He turned sideways, and I thought, ‘Look at the girth on this thing.'”
Knisley caught the 18.32-pound fish on a hunk of shad and a 15-pound test monfilament line. He later measured the bass to be 31.75 inches long and 24.5 inches in girth. According to officials and the Outdoor Writers of Ohio, his fish beat the previous record—set by Rosemary Shaver in the same lake in 2001—by just 10.24 ounces.
“This one is going on the wall,” Knisely wrote triumphantly on his Facebook page.
Strangely enough, officials say that Deer Creek Lake is an excellent place for catching larger hybrid striped bass, or wipers, even though it has never been stocked with them. As a cross between white bass and normal striped bass, wipers can thrive in environments where its parent species could not. The Ohio Division of Wildlife is especially proud of its stocking program and describes the hybrids as “pound-for-pound, one of the hardest-fighting fish swimming in Ohio’s waters today.”
It also happened to be the only fish Knisely caught that night, but he says he does not mind at all.
Image courtesy Ohio Division of Wildlife