I fish for lots of reasons: quality time with friends and family; the opportunity to enjoy and learn about nature; the satisfaction of eating a fish I caught and prepared. But I am also drawn to the possibility of catching a remarkable fish, maybe even a state record.
So, every once in a while, I study information about records in Connecticut. Notice I said study and not read. As a consequence, I know a lot about the records.
And you? Take the following quiz to see where you stand. If you’re not a fisherman or fisherwoman, or even if you are and get more than three right, I may ask you to write next month’s column.
1. How long ago was the state record set for white catfish?
A. 12 years B. 6 years C. 21 years D. 6 weeks
2. How many records were tied, set or broken in 2020?
A. One B. Two C. Thirteen D. Four
3. When Leslie Slater caught her record-tying northern pike last year, what was she using for bait?
A. A bladed jig B. A roostertail C. A live shiner D. A swimbait
4. True or False: there are two ways to qualify for a record in Connecticut: by weight and by overall length.
5. How many current Connecticut records are also world records?
A. Zero B. Four C. One D. Two
6. What body of water boasts the most freshwater records?
A. Connecticut River B. Farmington River C. Lake McDonough D. Shenipsit Lake
7. My daughter Ellie holds the state record for pumpkinseed. How big was it?
A. 9.75 inches B. 11.4 ounces C. 10.0 inches D. 1.2 pounds
8. Which weighed more, the state record tiger trout or the state record smallmouth bass?
9. White perch can be caught in both fresh and salt water, and there are separate records for each. Which record fish was bigger? The one caught in freshwater or saltwater?
10. Which of the following is the smallest record fish?
A. rock bass B. pumpkinseed C. banded rudderfish D. windowpane flounder
Answers are below.
1. D. Ben Tankunas caught a 21.3-pound white catfish at Coventry Lake on August 21, 2021. Officials believe it may also be a world record.
2. C. That’s right, 13 records were tied, set or broken in 2020. Whether or not the pandemic had anything to do with this, it’s a great sign.
3. B. Leslie was jigging a roostertail, not a lure or method commonly used for pike.
4. True. Weight is used for fish that are harvested; length is used for fish that are caught and released.
5. D. The state record for striper (81 pounds, 15.2 ounces) and clearnose skate (9 pounds, 8 ounces) are both world records. Ben Tankunas’s white catfish may become a third world record.
6. A. The Connecticut River is home to a diverse population of fish. Record species caught in the river include American shad, common carp and bowfin.
7. C. Ellie caught and released the record pumpkinseed at Lake McDonough in 2012, when she was 10 years old.
8. The tiger trout. It was 7 pounds, 14 ounces. The record smallmouth bass is 7 pounds, 12 ounces.
9. Freshwater. It was caught in Crystal Lake in 2018 and weighed 3 pounds, 1 ounce. The saltwater record is 2 pounds, 3 ounces.
10. D. The record windowpane flounder weighed 11 ounces. The other record weights are: rock bass: 1 pound, 3 ounces; pumpkinseed: 1 pound, three ounces; and banded rudderfish: 1 pound, 5 ounces.