The late addition of 18-year-old Jon A. Zettler of Chatham makes it four teens who caught and verified record fish in Illinois in 2008.
The fourth is a newly created category: yellow bass/white bass hybrid. Zettler established the record (2.06 pounds) with the fish he caught on Nov. 3, 2008 at Rend Lake in Franklin County.
The idea that four teens caught record fish goes gives a bit of a rebuttal to all the doomsaying about teens and the outdoors.
Brothers John and Andrew Chione started the teen revolution in April when both caught record redhorse suckers from the Fox River. John, 13, caught his 6.71-pound silver redhorse on April 24. Then, Andrew, 15, caught his 3.74-pound shorthead redhorse the next day. Click here for photos and story.
That was neat enough.
But Marcus Miller followed that up with the record hybrid crappie (4.52 pounds) caught on May 14. The 15-year-old Centralia High freshman caught it from the family's farm pond in Jefferson County. IDNR fisheries biologist Mike Hooe confirmed that the crappie, 18.75 inches long with a girth of 16 7/8 inches, was a hybrid. Click here for photos and story.
Here's the announcement on Zettler's fish:
``The IDNR Division of Fisheries is saluting 18 year old Jon A. Zettler of Chatham for catching a new state-record yellow bass/white bass hybrid. The fish was caught on Nov. 3, 2008 at Rend Lake in Franklin Co.
``IDNR District Fisheries Biologist Dan Stephenson reports genetics tests conducted by the Illinois Natural History Survey confirmed recently that the fish was a yellow bass/white bass hybrid.
``The fish weighed in at 2.06 pounds and was 15 inches in length. The hybrid is the first of its size reported in Illinois and this fish has prompted the IDNR to add the category of the yellow bass/white bass hybrid to the list of state fishing records.
``Zettler caught the fish on a Grizzly jig (tube) with a Sam Heaton Super Sensitive rod and Flueger reel.
``When told his catch was a new state-record fish, Jon Zettler said, `I was blown away and sure glad I went with my dad and his friend (Nick Shafer) that morning. We don't spend as much time together as we used to and catching this fish sure made the day that more special.'
``Jon's father, Bob Zettler said, `Just to spend time with my son and see him enjoy the outdoors makes me happy, but when you throw in this particular fish he caught, words cannot do it justice of how proud and happy I am for him.' ''