|May 13, 2005
Crofton, KY -- Penny Hopper recently enjoyed a Mother's Day she won't
soon forget: The 30-year-old mother of two reeled in a 4-pound,
14-ounce crappie from a watershed lake in northern Christian County.
The monster crappie, which measured 21½ inches long, is a half-pound
heavier than the previous state record crappie caught from a
Montgomery County farm pond in 1997.
It will undoubtedly be officially accepted as the new state record by
the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR).
"I've never seen one that big," said Hopper, a resident of Crofton,
KY. "I didn't think they came that big."
"We didn't have a net or anything," she added. "I thought we were
going to turn the boat over trying to get it in."
Several people witnessed the catch, including her husband, Jason, and
their 6-year-old son, Garrett. The fish was weighed and witnessed at
a certified scale at the West Side Market in Crofton. Paul Rister,
lead biologist for the KDFWR's western fisheries district, examined
the fish May 12 at G&K Taxidermy in Christian County and gathered the
paperwork necessary to certify the fish as the new state record.
Kentucky does not differentiate between black and white crappies for
its state record program. Rister said the fish had the seven spines
characteristic of a black crappie, although the Hoppers said it
displayed the bars characteristic of a white crappie when it was
Hopper said she caught the fish on a Crystal Shad Rooster Tail
spinner. "I threw it practically on the bank, in a shaded area where
a small log was coming out," she said. "The fish hit when it was out
from the bank a ways."
Hopper caught the fish on a Shakespeare rod and a Zebco 33 reel
spooled with 10-pound line. Both were Mother's Day presents. Hopper
said the fishing trip, too, was a Mother's Day present.
The big crappie made the day complete. "It's a good Mother's Day
present, isn't it?" she said.