Chicago Sun-Times
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More on 18-inch yellow perch??

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``I have a school of perch close to 18 inches,'' Bruce Fehr said.

The aquatic curator for the world's largest Cabela's called me back to talk about ``his babies'' this afternoon, June 13, 2008. He's held his job since the store opened in Hamburg, Pa., in 2003.

Last week, Mike Norris, the Chicago-area fishing guru, happened to stop by the Hamburg Cabela's on a business trip. He was so struck by an 18-inch yellow perch, thick black crappie and 15-pound largemouth bass that he called me. Then went back and took some photos of the perch.

The original post on Thursday drew enough interest that I called Fehr, nicknamed ``Fish Boy'' by his peers.

As promised, here's some details.

``I feed them real good,'' said Fehr, 53, a Penn state grad with a degree in environmental science and lots of follow-up science studies.

He feeds them pike shiners and minnows. He and his son caught many of the fish. Some came from a buddy's pond. Other fish came from the Landingville dam area.

But once the fish go into the aquarium, that's it. Other than making sure they eat well.

``I don't mess with them,'' he said. ``You can't play with them.''

He said his biggest crappie is as long as the 5- and 6-pound largemouth bass, but thicker. It was 17 inches when first brought to the tank.

The biggest largemouth, estimated at 15 pounds, was 1 ounce shy of 10 pounds when a kid originally brought it in.

He has 50-inch muskie and big catfish.

I understood when Fehr said, ``It gets in your blood.''

I plan to visit the store next month and see Fehr. For more information on the world's largest Cabela's and directions, it's in eastern Pennsylvania just off I-78, go here.

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1 Comment

I have a school of Perch close to 18 inches too. I think there about 9 inches. Isn't that close to 18 inches?????????

Ken

(now it's CLOSE to 18 inches)

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on June 13, 2008 1:21 PM.

18-inch yellow perch? was the previous entry in this blog.

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