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February 3, 2003


Carl Stoltz and his PA State Record Northern PikeWhile most of us were warm at home, watching parades or getting ready for football games, Carl Stoltz of Bradford spent the first part of his New Year’s Day shrugging off freezing rain to auger ice fishing holes through the frozen surface of the Allegheny Reservoir in McKean County. A great start to 2003 it turned out be, however, when he was rewarded for his efforts by landing the largest northern pike on record in Pennsylvania.

The 35-pound pike replaced a 33-pound, 8-ouncer landed 23 years ago from the Reservoir by Gerald Enderle of Tioga. Stoltz was fishing with a shiner on a treble hook when the line on one of his tip- ups starting rapidly peeling away. Stoltz set the hook, felt no movement and assumed for a moment that he was snagged – until something heavy starting racing away. About 20 minutes later the fish was finally tired and close to the surface. But at 48 inches long with a 21 ½-inch girth, getting the fish to the hole was only half the battle. Getting it through was equally challenging. With the help of a gaffe and some elbow grease, Stoltz finally managed to tug the northern onto the ice.

Pennsylvania certifies state records based on total body weight. Potential record fish must exceed the established mark by at least one ounce, as weighed on a certified scale. To be considered for state record certification, a fish must be caught using legal means, in season, from Pennsylvania waters open to the public without charge or fee. Fish taken from farm ponds, fee-fishing lakes, ponds or streams or in waters restricted to use by club members or their guests do not qualify. A biologist or Waterways Conservation Officer from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) must examine the fish. The PFBC is the only entity that can certify an official state record fish in the Commonwealth.

PA State Record Fish -- PFBC Home

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