Angler learns why his record fish was rescinded; it’s not good

A Kansas fisherman who had his state-record white crappie voided and “didn’t understand why,” now knows the reason his record fish was tossed out and the old record reinstated.

After an investigation prompted by a tip, officials from the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks discovered weights inside the “record” catch, as reported by KSNT.

Bobby Parkhurst submitted for state-record consideration a crappie that weighed 4.07 pounds on a certified scale. It was confirmed by John Reinke, the KDWP assistant director of Fisheries, as previously reported.

Parkhurst had caught the fish last April from Pottawatomie State Fishing Lakes No. 2, and it was reported that it topped the 59-year-old record of 4.02 pounds caught by Frank Miller of Eureka in 1964.

That was before a witness called the KDWP with a tip, saying the weight of the crappie in question was initially 3.73 pounds.

“To preserve the integrity of KDWP’s state-record program, KDWP game wardens met with the angler who voluntarily presented his fish for re-examination,” KDWP spokeswoman Nadia Marji told KSNT. “When staff used a handheld metal detector to scan the fish, the device detected the presence of metal.”

The game wardens then took the fish to the Topeka Zoo and Conservation Center where an X-ray showed two steel ball bearings in the fish’s stomach.

When the KDWP rescinded the record, it did not mention weights in the fish, only saying that the “written application form was not ‘true and correct,’” pointing to the listed weight on the form.

Parkhurst had insisted he filled out the application properly, saying, “I don’t understand why they’re doing this to me.”

“I did it the whole way they wanted me to do it,” Parkhurst told KSNT. “I went through the procedures, I wrote down what I caught it on, I did everything they wanted me to do by the book. I did everything I was supposed to do. Their biologists looked at it more than once.”

The incident is reminiscent of when two anglers in Ohio were caught red-handed having put lead weights into walleye in an effort to win a big-money fishing tournament in September 2022. They eventually admitted guilt and were sentenced to 10 days in jail, lost fishing privileges for three years and forfeited their $100,000 boat.

In this case, the stakes were much smaller. Katie Garceran of the Shawnee County District Attorney’s Office told KSNT that after an investigation, it was determined that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute the case concerning the creation of false information.

Photos courtesy of Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. 

Story originally appeared on For The Win