Fishing the Fifty
My Quest to Fish All 50 States
Fishing can be weird. I spent 769 days at 19 trophy species in Virginia before finally catching my 20th (white bass) and graduating to Master Angler IV. Then, only 29 days later, I caught a citation in my 21st species (freshwater drum). Like my white bass, this citation came out of Buggs Island and was caught while crappie fishing with Butch Arthur. This new personal best freshwater drum did not last long though. Three hours later, I caught another citation freshwater drum, and it was much bigger than my first one. It weighed 15.69 pounds and measured 31.5 inches long with a 25.25-inch girth. Both trophies were caught on 6-pound test too, which made for quite the battle.
My 24-inch citation freshwater drum, my 21st species with a citation in Virginia.
My massive 15.69-pound, 31.5-inch trophy freshwater drum.
I had never even seen a redear sunfish in real life before heading down to Western Branch Reservoir to fish with my friend Billy Nicar. Billy held a number of IGFA line-class records and is so good he makes fishing look easy. The water was about three feet higher than normal, but Billy and I found some good habitat and willing fish. I went from never having seen a redear to having three redear citations, with the biggest being 12 inches and 1.27 pounds. I caught a bonus 12-inch citation yellow perch, one of my favorite species to catch. Billy landed some citation redear as well and a near-citation bluegill. We each landed over 20 fish and had a big time. The citation redear put me at 22 species with at least one Virginia citation.
The first redear I ever saw in real life, my 11-inch citation
The biggest of my three redear citations, 12 inches and 1.27 pounds
My bonus citation yellow perch