New Black Crappie State Record in Illinois


On March 28, Ryan Povolish and his buddy Josh Jackson set out for practice for an upcoming bass tournament. They were fishing Kinkaid Lake in Jackson County in southern Illinois, near Ryan’s home in Carbondale. It would be one fishing trip they’d never forget on the 2,335-acre lake.

Both black and white crappies and hybrids are present here with anglers frequently catching crappies over 2 pounds. In recent years, at least two 4-pound fish have come from Kinkaid. Ryan was fishing from the back of the boat had only made about five casts into the 6-foot-deep water when he hooked a nice fish. He thought it was a bass, but Josh was sure that it was not. His next reaction was one of someone who knew he was catching a wall-hanger crappie.

Later, when they weighed it for the first time, it began to dawn on them what he had accomplished.

Using bass tackle and a Strike King chatterbait, Ryan broke a record that had stood for almost 41 years. A man fishing nearby provided a scale to weigh the fish, which came in at 4 pounds, 9 ounces.

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But this was would not ruled an official weight because it was not a certified scale.

Following several unofficial weigh-ins, an IDNR District 21 fisheries biologist weighed the fish on a certified scale. Officially, the crappie weighed 4 pounds, 8.8 ounces. It also measured 18 1/8 inches in with a girth of 16 1/4 inches. The IDNR officially certified it as the new Illinois state record for a black crappie, eclipsing the previous record set by John Hampton in Rend Lake back in 1976.

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