By Steve Weisman

Little did 43-year-old Royce Krummen of Lake Park realize when he went fishing shortly after noon on Saturday, February 16 that he would end up catching the fish of a lifetime and possibly the new Iowa state record for perch.

It all happened about mid-afternoon. Fishing a northwest Iowa area pond with a friend, Krummen was jigging a small pink/yellow jig tipped with a wax worm. First came the slight dip of the rod tip. At the sight, Krummen raised the rod tip, felt the bite and set the hook. Solid! Krummen remembers, “The fish made one good run, and then I was able to bring it back toward the hole. When I got it close to the bottom of the hole, I saw the tail and thought it must be a big perch. Then I thought it was maybe a bass. Finally, when I got its head to the hole, I saw it was definitely a big perch!”

It was big enough that he began checking on the Internet. The state record was a 16 inch/2.7-pound perch taken from Pool 12 on the Mississippi River. Krummen realized that his perch was definitely in the state record ballpark.

“My first thoughts were to either throw it back or put it on the wall.” Either way, he wanted to get a measurement and weight on the trophy perch.

So, off they headed to Kabele’s Trading Post to get an official measurement and weight. There was definitely excitement at Kabele’s when owners Thane and Tanya saw the big perch. They quickly called Mike Hawkins, DNR fisheries biologist, and Jeff Morrison, Dickinson County Conservation Officer, in to verify the length and weight.

Length-16.25 inches. Weight 2 pounds 12.5 ounces. It all suddenly began to sink in. Krummen had just brought in the NEW Iowa perch state record!

According to Krummen, “It’s still hard to believe. I’ve caught big perch before-up to 14¼ inches, but never something like this.”

If you want to watch all of the excitement, go to Kabele’s Facebook page for a couple of videos.

State records are hard to come by, and if you look at the record books, the bodies of water from which the state records were taken come from across the state with some records dating back over 50 years. This just goes to show that you never know. If the bait is right, the presentation is right and the right big fish is interested, you just might have the next state record on your hands!