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Indiana fishing: 2014 Fish of the Year

I always have mixed feelings about the Fish of the Year program in Indiana. The latest list is just out.

In part, my ambiance is because I always look through the species list and know that some of the winners are not even close to the best or longest (this is based on inches, not weight).

Then there is a Chae Dolsen's muskie, which you know was the big fish for that species that year.


First the presse release from the Indiana DNR with the complete listing at the bottom.

’14 Fish of the Year– not a tall tale but a long one

As stories go, the DNR’s Fish of the Year contest is always a long one.

Not in words, but in inches. That’s because annual winners are selected on the length of fish they catch and submit to the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife.

It was no different in 2014, when 78 entries resulted in 33 winners for 31 species. There were ties in two categories – bluegill and crappie.

Winning entry lengths ranged from an 8.5-inch green sunfish caught by Gregory Zentz at Pit 26 in Greene-Sullivan State Forest to the 52.5-inch flathead catfish that Eric Spicer muscled out of the White River in Jackson County.

There were two multiple winners in 2014 – Luke Kosnik (brown trout and walleye) and Brian Waldman (buffalo and hybrid striped bass).

And there were repeat winners, like Robert Ecenbarger of Fort Wayne, who turned in the top cisco catch for the fourth straight year. Tristan Weaver (36.3-inch steelhead trout) and Jeff Armstrong (20-inch common carp) won the same categories in 2013.

Another consistent winner is David Ben Mullen, who lives in Central (Harrison County). He claimed honors in 2014 for the longest blue catfish at 50 inches. It’s the fourth time in the past five years he has won.

Lake Michigan was once again the biggest producer of winners with four – Kosnik’s two catches, plus a 40-inch king salmon (Bret Rocchietti) and a 20-inch smallmouth bass (Alex Neel).

Fish of the Year winners receive a certificate and patch from the DNR.

For a complete list of 2014 Fish of the Year winners plus information on how to enter the Fish of the Year or the DNR Record Fish programs, visit

Species Length Winner Body of Water County Caught Date caught

Blue catfish 50.0 David Ben Mullen Ohio River Harrison 6/13/2014

Bluegill 12.0 Terry Wood Private Pond Vigo 4/13/2014

Bluegill 12.0 Teresa Williams Private Pond Johnson 7/29/2014

Brown trout 27.8 Luke Kosnik Lake Michigan Porter 3/31/2014

Buffalo 30.5 Brian Waldman Cagles Mill Reservoir Owen 7/20/2014

Bullhead 18.0 Tyler Gilbert Private Pond Howard 8/27/2014

Common Carp 20.0 Jeff Armstrong Kankakee River Porter 7/22/2014

Channel catfish 31.0 Thomas Keuneke Adam Lake Lagrange 7/25/2014

Cisco 15.0 Robert Ecenbarger Crooked Lake Whitley 11/28/2014

Crappie 17.5 Gordon Rainey Private Pond Pike 4/17/2014

Crappie 17.5 Karen Taylor Patoka River Gibson 6/14/2014

Flathead catfish 52.5 Eric Spicer White River Jackson 4/27/2014

Freshwater drum 21.0 Scott Van Osdol East Fork White River Bartholomew 8/2/2014

Green sunfish 8.5 Gregory Zentz Pit 26 Sullivan 5/9/2014

Hybrid striped bass 29.0 Brian Waldman Heritage Lake Putnam 6/26/2014

King salmon 40.0 Bret Rocchietti Lake Michigan Porter 8/24/2014

Largemouth bass 24.5 Schuyler Hume Patoka River Pike 8/15/2014

Longnose gar 44.5 Michael Arnold St. Joseph River St. Joseph 8/27/2014

Muskellunge 51.8 Chae Dolsen Loon Lake Whitley 10/14/2014

Northern pike 38.5 Jim Sako Hackenburg Lake Lagrange 4/7/2014

Rainbow trout 18.5 John Brant Olin Lake Lagrange 6/7/2014

Redear 12.1 Robert Balka Hudson Lake LaPorte 3/11/2014

Sauger 20.0 Anthony Marquez Lake Shaffer White 8/23/2014

Saugeye 22.3 Joshua Gansman Huntingburg Lake Dubois 4/19/2014

Shortnose gar 37.0 Ao Zeng Wabash River Tippecanoe 9/22/2014

Shovelnose sturgeon 28.0 George Seabolt Wabash River Cass 6/21/2014

Smallmouth bass 20.0 Alex Neel Lake Michigan Lake 5/5/2014

Steelhead trout 36.3 Tristan Weaver Trail Creek LaPorte 7/21/2014

Striped bass 37.0 Kody Neece Hardy Lake Scott 4/26/2014

Sucker 28.5 Brandon Lowe East Fork White River Bartholomew 4/24/2014

Walleye 28.3 Luke Kosnik Lake Michigan Porter 1/2/2014

White bass 17.5 Liang Zhang Wabash River Tippecanoe 9/13/2014

Yellow perch 14.9 Brad Hoffer Lake Maxinkuckee Marshall 2/12/2014

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