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 fishing.IN.gov/3577.htm.
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