Mississippi State student catches unofficial record green sunfish

Published 4:13 pm Monday, August 7, 2023

FAYETTE — Natchez resident Mason Wells returns back to Starkville for college soon but he managed to catch an unofficial state record before leaving home first. He landed a 1.54 green sunfish on a fly rod at a pond in Fayette Saturday.

Wells is a graduate of Monterey High School but he and his family live in Natchez. His dad Patrick Wells shared the catch on Facebook and wrote in the caption “Beats the Mississippi rod and reel and fly rod Green Ear.” 

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks reports the official record for a green sunfish is 1.26 pounds and was caught with Rod and Reel at Waltman’s Lake in Canton. The fly rod record in Mississippi is .43 pounds for a green sunfish, also known as a green ear sunfish. The fish caught by Wells would have surpassed both of those records. 

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Fisheries Bureau Assistant Director Ryan Jones said they had not received an application for the record fish caught by Wells as of Monday morning. 

“Record fish applications must be submitted with a weight from a certified scale,” Jones said. “And the fish species must be confirmed by one of our field biologists.”

Patrick Wells said the fish was released back into the pond to “grow bigger.”

Apply for a fishing record

Possible fishing records need to be weighed on certified scales at a grocery store or meat market, they must be measured and the species must be confirmed by a biologist. A list of fishing records can be found on www.MDWFP.com to see if your catch could set a record.

Applications for fishing records can be found on the MDWFP website under the fisheries tab. Once you submit an application go ahead and share your catch with your local newspaper. Email hunter.cloud@natchezdemocrat.com with photos and information to share any of your adventures in the outdoors.

Natchez has had a couple of record catches in the past two years. In April 2022, Eugene Cronley caught a 131 pound blue catfish on a rod and reel. In August 2022, Christopher Halley caught a 104 pound blue catfish on a trotline.