Fishing in Presque Isle Bay during the bitter cold of late March may not seem like much fun, unless you are a dedicated angler like Brian Clark. According to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, the Edinboro angler reeled in a new state record while fishing with a friend on March 30. The fish, an impressive 2-pound, 14-ounce yellow perch, was caught in 20 feet of water just off Liberty Park. It beat the previous state record by three ounces and was measured at nearly 16 inches long.
“As soon as I got it in, I thought it was one of the three biggest I’d ever seen. I jokingly said to Chet, ‘You’re looking at the new state record.’ But he doubted me,” Clark told GoErie.com.
Clark should know what he was talking about. An experienced angler who runs his own muskie guide service, Clark is currently the captain of Edward John. Clark says he has seen some big perch before, but nothing to match the one he hooked in late March.
“I was fishing right on the bottom, and when it hit, I figured it was a (bass) or a catfish or something. It felt too big to be a perch,” he said.
Yet sure enough, it happened to be the largest perch the state has ever documented. Clark posted on Facebook that Pennsylvania officials confirmed the record on Monday.
“It’s official!! As of today, my yellow perch is the new PA state record. 2lbs. 14 ounces caught 3/30/16,” Clark posted to Facebook.
The angler added that catching the fish was pure luck, but he was still proud of the accomplishment. He is currently having the fish prepared to be mounted.
The state’s previous record belonged to a fish also caught in Presque Isle Bay, back in 2010 by Jeffrey Matts.