TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – What’s it like breaking an almost 60-year-old state fishing record? Topeka resident Bobby Parkhurst is someone who would know.
Parkhurst sat down for an exclusive interview with KSNT 27 News about his amazing catch last month which cemented his name in the history books of Kansas. In what the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) dubbed a “catch-of-a-lifetime,” Parkhurst detailed how he reeled in his prize crappie in March from a Pottawatomie County lake.
Parkhurst started the day casting lines at Lake Shawnee with his girlfriend. When they didn’t have much luck, they chose to head over to the Pottawatomie State Fishing Lake No. 2 as dusk fell. He ended up using the same bait that failed him the first time around.
“I just threw it out, started helping her get stuff ready, popped over, and I caught him,” Parkhurst said. “It had some weight to it … I thought it was a walleye at first. And then, when I saw it, I quit reeling and started walking to the bank like a kid … A lot of times when you keep reeling those big ones, they like to come up to the top and smile at you and then go down without your hook.”
Parkhurst said he almost threw the crappie back but stopped because of protests from his fellow anglers.
“My nephew and my girlfriend said to keep it. I usually let them go,” Parkhurst said.
Once he learned he had broken a state fishing record, Parkhurst said it left him with a special feeling.
“I didn’t think I had it beat,” Parkhurst said.
The crappie weighed in at 4.07 pounds, beating the record set by Frank Miller of Eureka in 1964 by 0.05 pounds. Parkhurst’s crappie measured in at 18 inches in length and 14 inches in girth.
“I’m getting it mounted. I don’t know if I’m gonna send (a replica) to Kansas Wildlife and Parks,” Parkhurst said. “I’m gonna give my son the real one.”
Parkhurst said he typically goes fishing for crappie, walleye and bass. Now that he has snagged a trophy crappie, he said his next target is a walleye, as he’s already had past success with bass.
“Just keep setting them hooks, man. Keep ’em sharp,” Parkhurst said.