Angler Nearly Cooked ‘Monster’ Crappie Before Realizing it May Be a Record-Breaker

by Matthew Memrick

A night of fishing and a cookout may have ended with an angler cooking a record-breaking “monster” crappie recently.

USA Today said a Richmond, British Columbia man had caught some crappie in a private lake with cookout plans on the horizon. 

But when Jason Ren opened up the cooler and took another gander, he realized he might have something special.

Upon closer inspection, the angler had 17-inch black crappie in his possession and possibly a Canadian record, to boot.

According to Record Fish Canada, Reuben Lugtigheid caught 18-inch black crappie near Chatam in 2018. The catch is a non-official record.

Charles Cherill caught a 17-inch fish in Lake Erie in 1986 for the Ontario record.

Food Before Record

Ren’s first thoughts after finishing the fishing fun were about food prep and a friend.

The angler told the Richmond News that he was “thinking how to use lemon juice, pepper, and salt to turn them into a delicious meal on my way home.”

He was also planning on inviting Tammy, a friend, over for the feast. But when he opened his cooler, dinner plans changed.

“I asked my fishing buddies to take a look,” Ren said. “They were all surprised by the size of my fish.”

So, Ren submitted his fish to Record Fish Canada. The six-year-old British Columbia record for black crappie is 15 inches. Roger Chen locked up that record on Hatzic Lake on Sept. 26 of that year.

For now, the angler’s fish is playing the waiting game as officials determine if the record is broken.

Ren could be on his way back to the private lake. And he probably won’t tell his Canadian buddies which one it is.

“The fish could grow so big because the lake has never been disturbed by other fishermen,” Ren told the newspaper.

Ren Has A Knack For Fishing

The Canadian said he carries his gear with him wherever he goes. The serious fisherman claims he can even locate where someone caught a fish in the Metro Vancouver area by just a photo.

“I could easily tell the exact location where they caught it,” Ren told the newspaper.

This talent, of course, comes from many long-distance fishing trips, including one to Alaska. 

A Crappie Taste? Naw, Man

Eating a Crappie is a pretty popular thing to do.  

Hernan Santiesteban extolls the freshwater fish’s benefits, comparing it to bluegill with its softer texture and milder flavor. Pan-frying or deep frying is an excellent way to prepare the fish, but baking and grilling are good, too.

Santiesteban recommends the fish because it doesn’t have many red meat parts that make for a fishy flavor. He’s a big fan of colder water crappies and keeping them fresh until it’s time to cook them up.

He also prefers frying the crappie with batter to keep it from falling apart.