Man catches state record-tying sunfish near Spicer

State officials say a man caught a hybrid sunfish last month that tied the state’s weight-based record.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says Aaron Ardoff was fishing with his brother and a friend in Kandiyohi County on Sept. 18. He’d been catching bass and pike with a black and orange spinnerbait when a sunfish bit his lure.

“As soon as I started reeling, I could tell this wasn’t fighting like a pike or bass,” Ardoff said. “When the fish got closer I could see that it was a sunfish and I started panicking! I kept telling myself to not go crazy and just get it in.”

After reeling it in, Ardoff took the fish to a local tackle shop, where a local fisheries supervisor met him, positively identified the fish as a hybrid sunfish and then saw the fish weighed on a shop’s certified scale. The reading: 1 pound, 12 ounces.

The DNR says that tied the state’s hybrid sunfish weight record, which was set in 1994 by a fish caught from the Zumbro River.

More state fish records can be found online.