Jeff Kokemiller had been catching 12-inch and longer redear sunfish in his farm pond since 2009 but the one he caught in the late afternoon on Sept. 27 looked bigger than the others, so he decided to investigate what the state record was for redear sunfish.
1 pound 1 ounce, 11 inches long.
Consider the record smashed.
Kokemiller’s redear sunfish weighed 2.04 pounds and was 13-1/8 inches. It was weighed on a certified scale and verified by Iowa Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologist Mark Flammang.
Kokemiller, from Ottumwa, caught the fish using a worm and hook from his 2-1/2-acre farm pond and plans to have it mounted.
“I was using jigs, but not getting the size of fish I wanted so I switched to a worm and a hook and it worked,” he said.
He caught the fish in 14 to 15 feet of water fishing from a kayak.