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NJ State Record White Crappie Caught

September 29, 2009


The NJ DEP Division of Fish and Wildlife has announced that William "Bumbo" Lewis of Jackson, NJ, made his way onto the State Record Fish list this summer by landing a new state record white crappie on May 2. Lewis was fishing in Mercer Lake, Mercer County, when he reeled in the 3 lbs. 11 oz. fish, unmistakably beating the previous record, caught in 2005, by 13 ounces. To put that in perspective, this new state record is a whopping 23% heavier than the previous record! The new record measured 18 inches and had a 14 inch girth.

Lewis was fishing for crappie from his boat when he caught the fish. "When the fish hit I set the hook and the first thing I thought was it was heavy for a crappie...maybe a bass, muskie, or carp," said Lewis. "Then it jumped and cleared the water with a big head shake. I worked the fish to the boat and lipped it."

Lewis knew his fish was impressive, but did not know it was a record until he verified that it was a white crappie in his fish ID book. White crappie and black crappie are similar in appearance, however the black crappie record (4lbs. 8 oz.) was quite a bit larger than the previous white crappie record (2lbs. 14 oz.).

Although an avid muskie, bass and pickerel fisherman, William is no stranger to big crappie. In 2004 he caught a 3 lbs. 2 oz. crappie, which not only earned him a Skillful Angler Award, but it was the largest crappie of all submitted in 2004.

The record fish was caught on a white Mister Twister grub on a small jig head. Four-pound Trilene XL line was used with a St. Croix rod and a Shimano reel.

For more information on the Record Fish Program visit

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Last Updated: September 29, 2009