State-record hybrid sunfish caught in southwest Michigan
Michigan has a new state-record hybrid sunfish, out of Lake Anne in Grand Mere State Park in Berrien County. Joel Heeringa, of St. Joseph, Michigan, caught the fish July 9 while still-fishing with a crawler. The record fish weighed 1.8 pounds and measured 11.7 inches.
The record was verified by Brian Gunderman, a DNR fisheries unit manager for southern Lake Michigan. Because the fish was believed to be a hybrid, additional identification was required, delaying final confirmation. The fish also was examined by University of Michigan fisheries experts who confirmed it indeed was a hybrid sunfish.
The previous hybrid sunfish state record actually was a tie between two fish: one caught May 28, 1988, by Daniel Manville on Arbutus Lake in Grand Traverse County and one caught June 1, 1988, by Lloyd Jarman, Jr. on Doan’s Lake in Allegan County. Both fish weighed 1.44 pounds.
State records in Michigan are recognized by weight only. To qualify for a state record, fish must exceed the current listed state-record weight and identification must be verified by a DNR fisheries biologist.