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Matt Johnson

Can you say WOW!!!

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Actually there were others posted that were bigger, but this one takes the cake because I would be happy with just the bottom fish smile

It was a southern fish and a couple pounds off state record I believe... they grow them fish big down there smile

A 14.5-incher is insane... wow... still saying wow!

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I find it hard to believe that any lake in the north country could ever produce a fish like that.

I might also wonder if its a pond raised fish but no matter where it was caught, what a trophy.

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Interesting how it doesn't really have the "forehead" like a big bull sunfish up here does. Compare it to Deitz's PB pic and you'll see the difference.

Of course I've never seen anything like that 14.5 to copmare it to!

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There are some giant fish in the south, particularly those that are selectively bred and kept in farm ponds. Here's a fish that originated from a farm that I visited in Georgia a couple years ago:

2af252f0.jpg

These aren't pure strain bluegills by any means but they are exceptional fish.

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Matt,

My boys and I saw some fish like you posted swimming in a private pond on the Vanderbuilt estate in Ashville, North Carolina over the summer. The pond was built with the house in 1896 and was called the Bass Pond, leaving one to wonder how big the bass would be in the pond if the the sunnies were maneaters like your picture.

Great article in your other thread. Hope you've had a great summer.

Bob K

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I find it hard to believe that any lake in the north country could ever produce a fish like that.

I might also wonder if its a pond raised fish but no matter where it was caught, what a trophy.

I dont think it would be entirely impossible. If Crappies can reach up to 20" or just 15", I think it would be possible for a Gill get up to the 15" in the Midwest. But the chance of catching one that size would be pretty rare or near impossible too.

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just shows that they can grow if you let em go although the south does have a longer growing season. I was up north over labor day weekend and we boated 13 crops over 11" over the weekend with lots of 10's mixed in brought home 43 eaters 9-10" fish 7 short of our 5 person limit

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In the words of Chief Brody (Jaws) . . . "I think we're going to need a bigger boat!"

Matt - we need to go fishing somewhere, that is for sure.

Bob K

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Shellcrackers get really big down south. I've fished some farm ponds in North Carolina where 1lb sunnies were almost the norm. But most of them are not the blue gills we catch up here - other species entirely like shellcracker and red ears. Still an absolute blast.

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I was fishing a couple years ago on little Long Lake in Oakdale and was catching crappies nonstop. People that were along side of me were getting upset, cause I was throwing all of them back in, they were between 8 and 11 inches. I was new to the cities so I was not aware of the stuntedness of most of the fish, came from West of the cities about 175 miles near the SD border. On a particular river/lake which we fished most often that is a somewhat common one, from the age of 10 until I was 28 or so I caught many hundreds of crappies over 14" and at least 50 that were 15" or bigger with a couple being 16+. Up until last year I had NEVER caught a crappie from this lake that needed to be thrown back because of lack of size, which to me is 12" or less. Seems the lake took a beating from who knows what and is now on the rebound for crappies with size. The craps are still there in #s just not in the quality of a few years ago. Used to catch buckets full of crappie perch and walleye, have not even caught a perch there now in 8 years! If you can guess the lake I will tell you if you are correct.

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Shellcrackers get big. Some lakes have a 13" MIN length limit. That tells you something. Ther are several species of panfish in the south that we dont ever hear about. Fliers, Spotted bream, Long ears. Unusual and uncommon. I`m sure there are others but those are just some I have caught.

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I got this picture from another HSOforum... the one on the bottom is a 1-pound fish... the one on the top is a freak of nature... smilesmilesmile

BigGills-497x370.png

Crazy looking fish. That is a monster freak!

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I was fishing a couple years ago on little Long Lake in Oakdale and was catching crappies nonstop. People that were along side of me were getting upset, cause I was throwing all of them back in, they were between 8 and 11 inches. I was new to the cities so I was not aware of the stuntedness of most of the fish, came from West of the cities about 175 miles near the SD border. On a particular river/lake which we fished most often that is a somewhat common one, from the age of 10 until I was 28 or so I caught many hundreds of crappies over 14" and at least 50 that were 15" or bigger with a couple being 16+. Up until last year I had NEVER caught a crappie from this lake that needed to be thrown back because of lack of size, which to me is 12" or less. Seems the lake took a beating from who knows what and is now on the rebound for crappies with size. The craps are still there in #s just not in the quality of a few years ago. Used to catch buckets full of crappie perch and walleye, have not even caught a perch there now in 8 years! If you can guess the lake I will tell you if you are correct.

Big Stone?

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