Minnesota Angler Catches Monster Crappie While Ice Fishing

by Amy Myers
(Photo By MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)

How this Minnesota angler managed to wrangle this monster crappy out of the ice fishing hole, we’ll never know.

Wyatt Williams of Bloomington, Minnesota pulled a 3-pound panfish out of the frigid waters at a small undisclosed lake just outside the Twin Cities metropolitan area on February 25, 2022. Using a live scope, Williams and his longtime fishing pal, Bobby Beattie, had located schools of fish throughout the day. They pulled up a couple of 12-inch and 13-inch panfish. Then, around 3:30 p.m., Williams found a monster on the other end of his line.

“We just sat there for 20 seconds in complete awe,” Williams told Premier Angler. “We knew immediately this fish was something different. It was unlike anything we’d ever seen.”

Originally, when the Minnesota angler began reeling his catch towards the top of the ice, he thought it was a small bass. Once the fish was closer to the surface, though, he realized how rare of a fish he found.

Not surprisingly, Williams hurried to clock in the measurements of the fish. Sure enough, the fish was 3 pounds and 1.7 ounces. Its length was 17.75 inches in length with a 15-inch girth. While Williams weighed the black crappie, Beattie quickly fashioned a live well to keep the unique catch.

Minnesota Angler Breaks Personal Record with Latest Catch

While the 17-inch panfish certainly would have made a great trophy, Williams and Beattie couldn’t in good conscience take the fish home. So, they released the crappie back into the water, hopefully, to pass on its massive genes to a new generation of Minnesota fish.

On Facebook, the Minnesota angler posted a few photos of his record catch, regaling the day’s events to family, friends, and fishermen. William’s last crappie weighed just over a pound.

“A lot of years have gone into Bobby Beattie and I’s search for a truly giant crappie and today, on a high-pressure bluebird sky day, it finally happened,” wrote Williams in a Facebook post. “ At 17.75 inches and 3 pounds, it may be years until I see another like it!” 

The feedback in the comments of the post ranged from congratulatory to envious. Some even wondered if this was the beginning of a new era of gigantic crappies.

“just a matter of catching them! Just makes you wonder what size we will be saying is big in 5-10 years with all these fancing electronics out nowadays,” one person wrote.

Meanwhile, others decided to poke fun at the Minnesota angler.

A good friend of Williams’ and fellow angler said, “We can no longer be Facebook friends because I can’t stand seeing any more fish briefly taken away from their friends.”

Apparently, the friend had just gone fishing two days prior.