|Harrisburg, PA—Enduring a cold, rainy, blustery March day paid off for angler Jeffrey Matts of Erie. Matts caught a 2 pound 11 ounce yellow perch that day. His catch has been named the new state record for the species by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC). The new record, which measured 15 3/8 inches, was caught in Presque Isle Bay in 11 feet of water.
“After a long winter of ice fishing and knowing you need to be there when the fish turn on, I broke down and decided to go fishing with my best friend Rob,” said Matts. He said the old saying “Wind from the East, fish bite the least” didn’t deter the two anglers. After catching two fish in a couple of hours he decided to move the boat to another spot. Shortly after setting anchor, Matts dropped a jig tipped with a minnow. While rigging another rod, the new record struck. Matts landed the fish, placed it in a livewell, and continued to fish. He realized how big the fish was when he arrived home and started to clean his catch.
Matts’ catch exceeds the previous record by 2 ounces. That fish was caught in February 2001 by Keith Meck of Macungie, while ice fishing at Beltzville Lake, Carbon County.
The Fish and Boat Commission certifies state records based on total body weight. Potential record fish must exceed the established mark by at least 2 ounces, 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. Staff from the PFBC must examine the fish. Complete rules and application are available on the Commission’s website, http://fishandboat.com/strecord.htm. The PFBC is the only entity that can certify an official state record fish in the Commonwealth.
For more information about fishing and boating in Pennsylvania, please visit our website at www.fishandboat.com.
Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission
State Record Fish Program Coordinator