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Wake County angler sets sunfish record

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Wake County angler sets sunfish record

 

 

Sep 04, 2008 / newsobserver.com

 

 

sunfish.jpg

 

 

 

Another freshwater fish state record has been broken -- this time by Wake County angler Sean Vanderburg, who caught a 1-pound, 14-ounce green sunfish from a private pond in Caswell County on July 27.

 

Vanderburg, 22, caught his fish, which measured 12 1/4 inches in length and 14 inches in girth, using a Berkley Lightning Rod, an Abu Garcia baitcaster and a Culprit plastic worm.

 

Vanderburg, an avid hunter as well as fisherman, says he fishes quite often in the pond, which is located on the same property where he hunts. He thought he had hooked a nice-size largemouth bass and was shocked to find what he thought might be a pumpkinseed -- albeit a giant one -- dangling on the end of the line.

 

"I'd never seen a sunfish that big before, so I had a little freak-out moment," Vanderburg said.

 

He began calling friends to see what the state records were for all the sunfish species found in North Carolina, then contacted Corey Oakley, a fisheries biologist with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

 

"This fish was so big that both Wayne Starnes, curator of fishes at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, and I thought that it had to be a hybrid with another sunfish, such as a bluegill," Oakley said. "But after reviewing all the identification characteristics for a green sunfish, it was definitely the state record. We could find no evidence of hybridization with another sunfish species."

 

The fish was weighed on certified scales at Paul's Grocery in Raleigh.

 

The previous green sunfish state record weighed a 1 pound, 2 ounces. To qualify for a state record, anglers must have caught the fish on a rod and reel, must have the fish weighed on a certified scale witnessed by one observer, have the fish positively identified by a qualified expert from the commission and submit an application with a full, side-view photo of the fish.

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Would it have been less of a shame if he ate it? A dead fish is a dead fish, no matter how you slice it...or turn it into paste.

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