A Crown Point
angler has broken the record for biggest lake whitefish caught in Indiana,
the Department of Natural Resources is reporting.
landed his 6-pound, 3-ounce lake whitefish on Lake Michigan near Burns
Harbor in Portage on Friday, April 13. The fish measured 25.5 inches long.
Meeter’s fish marks
the sixth record lake whitefish since the state established a category for
the species in 2012, DNR said, besting the previous record fish--caught by
Alexander Ciesielski in 2017--by nearly a half-pound.
Meeter caught the
whitefish from a boat while fishing with two other friends. Earlier in the
day, the friends had trolled for coho salmon and caught their daily limit.
They then headed toward shore to jig for lake trout. “Within a minute, I
caught that whitefish,” Meeter said. “It was the best day of fishing I’ve
Last year, Meeter
caught the first whitefish of his life in the same spot under similar
circumstances. Unfamiliar with whitefish and unaware of the state record,
Meeter simply took the large fish home. He didn’t bother to look up the
record until a friend suggested he do so. But by that time he’d already
fileted the fish. Meeter thinks that 2017 fish also may have been a record
breaker. Nonetheless, “It was great eating,” Meeter said.
his most recent whitefish to DNR staff for official weighing the Monday
after he caught it. He said he plans to have the fish mounted for display.
Whitefish have long
been targets of commercial fishing operations in northern Lake Michigan due
to demand for their flaky white flesh. Recently, sport anglers began
targeting them in southern Lake Michigan, which prompted Indiana in 2011 to
place a bag limit regulation of 12 fish.
Best fishing time
and locations in Indiana waters have been from shore along marinas and
breakwaters during March and April, and then again during spawning in
November. Fishing is best when water temperatures are below 50 degrees,
according to DNR Lake Michigan fisheries biologist Brian Breidert.
“They can be caught
using simple techniques,” Breidert said.
often bottom-fish using a small weight, a 12- to 24-inch leader, a small
hook and single salmon egg or piece of night crawler. Jigging is productive
for boat anglers in the spring. Lake whitefish feed on the bottom on zebra
mussels, bugs, and worms.
Meeter said he
isn’t sure how long his record will last. “Will it be beat? I’m sure it
will,” he said. “I’m just hoping it stands for a little while.”