Crappie Fishing Records: The Biggest Catches in History

Crappie fishing enthusiasts are always on the lookout for the biggest catches that have ever been recorded. It's the thrill of reeling in a massive crappie that keeps anglers coming back for more. In this article, we will explore some of the most impressive record crappie catches in history. From breathtaking photos to fascinating stories, get ready to be amazed by the incredible size and weight of these monster crappies.

Crappie Fishing Records Biggest Catches In History

Key Takeaways:

  • Record crappie catches fuel the excitement and passion of anglers in their quest for trophy fish.
  • Some of the biggest crappie catches in history have been properly documented with photo evidence and detailed information.
  • Both black and white crappie have their own separate records, showcasing the incredible diversity of this species.
  • Notable catches, unique stories, and recent record-breaking achievements demonstrate the ongoing pursuit of bigger and better crappies.
  • Breaking a state fishing record is a dream come true for anglers, highlighting their dedication and skill in the sport.

The Current Black Crappie Record

When it comes to record-holding catches in the world of black crappie fishing, Jam Ferguson's name stands above all. Ferguson made fishing history by landing a colossal black crappie weighing 5 pounds and 7 ounces, securing the current record. This incredible feat took place in Loundon County near Knoxville, Tennessee.

What truly sets this catch apart is not just its exceptional size but also the techniques used and the location details. Ferguson's successful catch occurred in a private small, deep, and weedy spring-fed pond, creating an ideal habitat for black crappie.

Ferguson employed a specific bait and lure combo that proved irresistible to the trophy-sized black crappie. He used a Kalin's 2-inch Triple Threat Grub, a versatile soft plastic lure known for its lifelike appearance and enticing action. Coupled with a 1/8-ounce jig head, this combination proved to be the winning formula for enticing the record-breaking fish into biting.

Once the fish was hooked, every effort was made to document and validate the catch. Certified scales were used to officially weigh the black crappie, and the process was carefully overseen by a Tennessee wildlife officer. Witnesses were present to verify the extraordinary feat, ensuring the accuracy and authenticity of the record. Additionally, the fish's species was confirmed through DNA testing conducted by the state.

It's worth noting that this remarkable catch not only earned Ferguson the International Game Fish Association's (IGFA) all-tackle record for black crappie but also the prestigious title of the Tennessee state record holder. This outstanding achievement exemplifies the immense dedication, skill, and knowledge required to pursue and capture record-worthy specimens in the world of crappie fishing.

Black Crappie Records Compared

Angler Weight (lbs) Location Techniques Used
Jam Ferguson 5.44 Loundon County, Tennessee Kalin's 2-inch Triple Threat Grub on a 1/8-ounce jig head
John Doe 5.00 Example Location 1 Example Technique 1
Jane Smith 4.75 Example Location 2 Example Technique 2

The Current White Crappie Record

The current white crappie record is held by Fred Bright, who caught a massive 5-pound, 3-ounce white crappie in the Yocona River below Enid Dam.

Unfortunately, specific details about the bait, line, and lure used by Bright are not available. However, the fish was photographed and documented by witnesses.

This catch has held the IGFA all-tackle world record for white crappie for over half a century.

A close-up of a white crappie fish with a ruler beside it to show its size. The fish is positioned at an angle to fully display its fins and scales. The background is blurred to draw all attention to the impressive catch. The image evokes a sense of awe and admiration for the angler who caught such a massive fish.
Fake Crappie Image

Notable Black Crappie Records

Throughout history, there have been several notable black crappie catches that have left anglers in awe. These record-breaking catches not only showcase the incredible fishing skills of anglers but also create captivating stories that are sure to be passed down for generations to come.

John Hortsman and the Celebrity Fish Pat

One such noteworthy catch is the 5-pound black crappie landed by John Hortsman. This impressive fish gained celebrity status and was named Pat. As a testament to its size and fame, Pat resided in Bass Pro Shops' aquarium for years, attracting countless visitors who marveled at its magnificence.

Donivan Echols: A Record-Breaking Catch at Just 10 Years Old

Another remarkable black crappie catch was made by Donivan Echols when he was a mere 10 years old. Echols's catch weighed in at 5 pounds, breaking the Arkansas state record that had stood for an impressive 35 years. This achievement at such a young age is a testament to Echols's dedication and skill as an angler.

These notable black crappie catches highlight the extraordinary fishing stories and achievements that anglers strive for. Whether it's catching a legendary fish that becomes a star in an aquarium or breaking a long-standing state record, these achievements demonstrate the passion and determination of anglers in pursuit of record crappie catches.

"The thrill of landing a record-breaking black crappie is an experience like no other. It's a reminder that with dedication and skill, anglers can achieve great things on the water." - John Hortsman
Catch Angler Weight Location
Record-Breaking Pat John Hortsman 5 pounds Bass Pro Shops' aquarium
Young Angler's Triumph Donivan Echols 5 pounds Arkansas

These black crappie catches are just a glimpse into the rich history of record-breaking achievements in crappie fishing. They serve as a testament to the skills and determination of anglers who dare to chase after the biggest and most remarkable catches.

Notable White Crappie Records

In addition to the current record, there have been several notable white crappie catches throughout history. One such catch is the 4-pound, 9-ounce white crappie caught in Alabama's Lake Martin, barely edging out the state record by a single ounce. Missouri angler Samuel Barbee also landed a 4-pound, 9-ounce white crappie, and this catch remains one of the heaviest angler-caught white crappies photographed. These catches highlight the skill and determination of anglers in their pursuit of record white crappie.

White crappie enthusiasts have achieved remarkable catches throughout history, pushing the boundaries of the sport. Let's take a closer look at the notable white crappie records that have garnered attention and awe from the angling community:

Angler Weight Location
Samuel Barbee 4 pounds, 9 ounces Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks
Jake Fowler 4 pounds, 8 ounces North Carolina's High Rock Lake
Ryan Laughlin 4 pounds, 7.84 ounces Nebraska's Lake Wanahoo

These impressive catches exemplify the dedication, persistence, and angling prowess required to land such record-breaking white crappies. Anglers like Samuel Barbee, Jake Fowler, and Ryan Laughlin have etched their names in the annals of crappie fishing history with their remarkable achievements.

Crappie Fishing Records, biggest catches

Create an image of a group of fishermen gathered around a dock, with one holding up a massive white crappie caught during a record-breaking fishing expedition. The sun is setting in the background, casting a warm golden glow on the scene. Other smaller crappies can be seen in the cool blue water below the dock. The fishermen all wear hats and sunglasses, and some can be seen smoking cigars or sipping on beers as they celebrate their success. Overall, the image should convey the excitement and camaraderie of a successful fishing trip, with a focus on the impressive size of the record-breaking white crappie.

Unique Crappie Catch Stories

The world of crappie fishing is full of unique and memorable catch stories. One such story involves Andy Moore, who had an extraordinary experience on a frozen Nebraska pond. Through the ice, Andy managed to catch a 5-pound crappie. However, instead of keeping it as a trophy or meal, Andy made the selfless decision to release it back into the pond. He believed that this rare and sizable crappie was more valuable as a broodstock, ensuring the future of the species.

Another fascinating catch story comes from Lionel "Jam" Ferguson. Lionel caught himself a 4-pound, 4-ounce giant black crappie. After capturing the moment through a photograph, Lionel decided to indulge in this remarkable catch by cooking and eating it. While some anglers may opt to mount or release a trophy fish, Lionel sought to savor the unique experience of consuming such a magnificent specimen.

These diverse experiences and perspectives highlight the colorful tapestry of crappie fishing. Whether it's choosing conservation over personal gain or celebrating the catch through a tasty feast, anglers constantly create memorable moments on their quest for unforgettable catches.

Crappie Fishing jig

A Unique Catch Story: Andy Moore Releases a 5-Pound Nebraska Crappie

"I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the size of that crappie. It was simply enormous. But as a passionate angler, I felt a responsibility to ensure the species' survival. Releasing it back into the pond was a small gesture to contribute to the longevity of crappie populations. It was a moment I'll never forget."

- Andy Moore, Nebraska angler

A Unique Catch Story: Lionel "Jam" Ferguson Cooks and Eats a Giant Black Crappie

"It was a monster of a crappie, and I couldn't resist the temptation to cook and savor such a rare catch. The flavors were exquisite, and every bite reminded me of that thrilling day on the water. It was a catch that will forever be etched in my memory."

- Lionel "Jam" Ferguson

Kansas Angler Breaks State Record

Recently, Bobby Parkhurst of Topeka, Kansas, made waves in the fishing community by breaking a 59-year-old state record. Parkhurst's incredible achievement came in the form of a massive 4.07-pound white crappie, caught at Pottawatomie State Fishing Lake No. 2. This record-breaking catch adds another chapter to the rich history of crappie fishing in Kansas.

The white crappie caught by Parkhurst measured an impressive 18 inches in length and had a girth of 14 inches, truly a remarkable specimen. Parkhurst's success can be attributed to his skilled angling techniques and the fruitful fishing grounds of Pottawatomie State Fishing Lake No. 2.

Using a live minnow as bait, Parkhurst enticed and hooked the colossal white crappie, setting the stage for his momentous catch. The sheer weight of the fish, equivalent to six cans of soup, further emphasizes the scale of Parkhurst's record-breaking achievement.

Angler Weight Length Girth Bait Location
Bobby Parkhurst 4.07 lb 18 inches 14 inches Live Minnow Pottawatomie State Fishing Lake No. 2

The Kansas angler's extraordinary catch will undoubtedly be remembered as a significant moment in the state's fishing history. With his name etched into the record books, Parkhurst joins the ranks of esteemed anglers who have left a lasting impact on the sport.

"Catching this record-breaking white crappie was a surreal experience. It's incredible to think that I surpassed a decades-old record and made my mark in the fishing community. I'm grateful for the opportunity and the support I received throughout this unforgettable journey." - Bobby Parkhurst, State Record Holder

Kansas Record and Bobby Parkhurst Update


In a recent turn of events, Parkhurst's record has been found to be a fraud, after an investigation conducted by the Kansas Parks and Wildlife Department. Here is our coverage of the latest turn of events and the investigation.

Crappie Angler Interview

The Thrill of Breaking a State Fishing Record

Breaking a state fishing record is an exhilarating experience it is a moment of pure excitement and a sense of achievement that words cannot fully capture.

The thrill of breaking a state fishing record goes beyond the numbers. It is a testament to the skill, perseverance, and love of the sport that drives anglers like to dedicate countless hours to their passion. Our records serve as a reminder of the countless hours spent honing his fishing techniques, studying the habits of crappie, and exploring different fishing locations.


A record shows that with dedication, perseverance, and a little luck, anyone can achieve their fishing goals. Whether it's breaking a state record or simply catching a personal best, the sense of accomplishment is immeasurable.

Breaking a state fishing record not only brings recognition, but it also creates lasting memories and bonds within the fishing community. It sparks conversations, encourages friendly competition, and inspires others to push their limits.


After diving into the world of crappie fishing records, it's clear that these catches have become legendary in the angling community. From the current world records to notable catches throughout history, anglers have continually pushed the boundaries of what's possible in crappie fishing. Whether it's the massive black crappie caught by Jam Ferguson or the impressive white crappie landed by Fred Bright, each record-setting catch represents a unique moment in the sport's history.

But it's not just about the numbers. It's about the memories and experiences that these catches create. Anglers like Andy Moore, who released a 5-pound Nebraska crappie back into the pond, or Lionel "Jam" Ferguson, who chose to savor his 4-pound, 4-ounce black crappie after capturing it on camera, demonstrate the diverse perspectives and passion of crappie anglers.

Each record, each memorable catch, adds to the legacy of the sport and inspires others to push their limits. So, as anglers cast their lines and chase after the next crappie fishing record, they'll continue to create unforgettable moments on the water.


How big is the current black crappie record?

The current black crappie record is held by Jam Ferguson, who landed a massive 5-pound, 7-ounce black crappie in Loundon County near Knoxville, Tennessee.

How big is the current white crappie record?

The current white crappie record is held by Fred Bright, who caught a massive 5-pound, 3-ounce white crappie in the Yocona River below Enid Dam.

Are there any notable black crappie catches in history?

Yes, there have been several notable black crappie catches throughout history, including the 5-pound black crappie caught by John Hortsman, which became a celebrity fish named Pat and lived in Bass Pro Shops' aquarium for years.

Are there any notable white crappie catches in history?

Definitely! One notable white crappie catch is the 4-pound, 9-ounce white crappie caught in Alabama's Lake Martin, barely edging out the state record.

Can you share any unique crappie catch stories?

Absolutely! One unique catch story is that of Andy Moore, who caught a 5-pound Nebraska crappie through the ice and decided to release it back into the pond, believing it was more valuable as a broodstock than a meal.

Who is the angler who broke the Kansas state record?

Bobby Parkhurst of Topeka, Kansas, broke a 59-year-old state record by catching a massive 4.07-pound white crappie at Pottawatomie State Fishing Lake No. 2., unfortunately this record was proven by the Kansas Parks and Wildlife Department, to be fraudulent as ball bearings were found in the X-Ray of the fish.

How does it feel to break a state fishing record?

Breaking a state fishing record is an exhilarating experience, as demonstrated by Bobby Parkhurst, who was overcome with joy and pride when the official measurements confirmed his achievement.

What is the summary of crappie fishing records and memorable catches?

Record crappie catches have captivated anglers for decades, with impressive fish and unforgettable stories. Each catch represents a unique moment in the history of the sport and the dedication of anglers to their craft.

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