No matter how many state record fish contenders pop up, it never gets old seeing the potentially new top dog (fish) that’s trying to take the place of the current champ.

Ryan Povolish is a new contender for a state-record crappie in Illinois after he caught a 4 pound, 8.8 ounce crappie that measured 18 3/4 inches long with 16 inches in girth. He was only looking for a day of fun on the water, but he got more than he ever expected.

Povolish was fishing with his friend Josh Jackson on Kinkaid Lake when he made the incredible catch. All the proper steps were taken in documenting the fish’s measurements, now it’s just waiting on the final confirmation to be named the new Illinois state record – granted all the numbers match up in the end.

“Kinkaid is not the type of lake where you can go catch a bunch of 2 and 3-pound crappie,” Luke Estel, Jackson’s tournament partner said. “But there are huge ones in there. About 15 or 20 years ago, they introduced muskies into the lake and all the bass and crappie anglers freaked out. We thought it would decimate the population. But as it turns out, those musky have helped control the population, which provides more forage for the surviving crappie and bass. You might not catch a bunch out there, but the ones you catch will likely be the right ones. Essentially, only the strong survive.”

The current black crappie record in Illinois weighed 4 pounds 8 ounces in 1976, so it’ll be a close call when it’s all said and done.

The fish is still alive and in a live release tank and is on its way to a Bass Pro Shops tank for public display. Whether it ends up breaking the state record or not, this is one impressive fish worthy of admiration.

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