Call it what you will… fate, good timing, a convenience, but one lucky angler landed a massive crappie just after he came back from receiving his COVID vaccination.
Dan Wielobob, a Pennsylvania native, had just received his first round of COVID-19 vaccinations with his wife a few hours before he went out to the lake.
The two drove to a clinic in Cortland, Ohio, early on Friday to get a spot in line. Upon returning, Wielobob went down to the frozen lake to do some ice fishing.
Something to calm the nerves, if you will.
Wielobob landed the massive white crappie at Lake Wilhelm, and it was just shy of the state record. The monstrous fish clocked in at 20 inches and weighed 4.02 pounds—only three ounces behind the record.
A Mississippi angler set the all-tackle world record for crappie back in 1957. This fish weighed in at five pounds, three ounces. A record no one may come close to anytime soon.
Walleye? Bass? Crappie?
Wielobob told the Erie Times-News that when he first caught a glimpse of the fish through the ice, he thought he hooked a walleye.
The crappie then swam upwards with his large mouth open. Knowing this wasn’t a walleye, he reached his hand into the hole to grab the fish with his hand.
“Not something I would have done if it were a walleye,” Wielobob said.
At this point, the angler thought he hit a largemouth bass. Once the fish was “lipped” between his thumb and forefinger, Wielobob yanked the fish out of the cold lake and onto the ice.
The Pennsylvania man said he was shocked at how big it was. He stated that the crappie was easily the largest he had hooked in more than 60 years of fishing.
He used a two-pound test line and a tungsten jig to catch the massive crappie, along with 19 smaller ones.