PHOTO: Massive Sunfish Caught on Lake Havasu, New Pending World Record

by Halle Ames
(Photo Credit: timeless/ Getty Images)

This lucky fisherman landed a massive sunfish on Lake Havasu earlier this week. It’s currently waiting to be confirmed as the new world record. 

Lucky Angler Lands Massive Fish

Thomas Farchione, a Waterford, Wisconsin resident, was out fishing with some buddies on Tuesday afternoon when he hooked a sizable fish. However, it was a bass or catfish. No. Farchione reeled in a 6.3-pound redear sunfish that measured 17 inches with a 20-inch girth.

When the fishermen used their own scale, the massive fish weighed in at 6.25-pounds. The Noble Research Institute notes that redear sunfish usually weigh around two pounds. 

According to USA Today, the angler used a drop-shotted nightcrawler around 1:30 p.m. to catch the enormous redear sunfish in 25 feet of water. 

The Today’s News-Herald reports that the sunfish was located in California Bay, which is about half a mile north of Copper Canon on the California side of the lake. However, the lake rests on the Arizona and California border.

The current work record for a sunfish is only a mere 5.8-pounds, caught in February of 2014 in the same lake. When Farchione brought his prized catch to be weighed at Bass Tackle Master in Lake Havasu City, the fish clocked in at 6.3-pounds. The company posted a photo of Farchione with his catch on Facebook. 

Social media users flooded the comments, congratulating the angler on the amazing catch. 

“That fish is one in a lifetime catch congratulations!” commented Ronald Peterson.

“Man, I bet that was one heck of a fight!” writes Charles Perkins. “Even the small sunfish pull hard enough to make a person think that they have hooked into something huge. I can’t imagine how hard this fish pulled.” 

Posted by Facebook App on Thursday, August 27, 2015

Why Are Sunfish In Lake Havasu So Big?

Now, the angler just has to wait for confirmation from the International Game Fish Association about his world-record-setting catch. 

The new source may give a hint as to why the fish are growing so large in this lake in particular. 

This type of sunfish, the redear sunfish, is also called the ‘shellcracker’ because it feasts on snails. In 2007, quagga mussels were discovered in Lake Havasu. They are an invasive and prolific-breeding freshwater mussel that is in a shell. The abundant amounts of quagga mussels have given the fish a hardy food source.

In addition, the sunfish have helped to cut down on the invasive species’ massive numbers. According to the Arizona Game and Fish Department, redear sunfish have reduced quagga mussel numbers by as much as 25 percent.

Excuse me while I book a flight to Lake Havasu. I could use a morale boost with my fishing lately.