20-year-old state fishing record crappie record fallsThe 20-year-old state fishing record for a black crappie was broken May 6 on a small lake in Western New York.

The action took place May 6 on Lake Flavia in Cattaraugus County. When it was through, William Wightman, of South Dayton, N.Y was the new state record holder. His fish weighed 4 pounds, 1 ounce and was 18.5 inches long.

Black crappie, also known as strawberry bass or calico bass, are found throughout the state in clear, quiet lakes, ponds, and rivers where vegetation is abundant. Spring is a popular time of year to fish for crappie, as these fish can be found in large schools in shallow water prior to spawning.

Wightman’s fish, caught on a black Maribou jig tipped with an emerald shiner and fished underneath a bobber, broke the 1998 record set by Ken Kierst, who caught a 3 pound, 12-ounce crappie on tiny Duck Lake in northwestern Cayuga County on a homemade lure. Kierst’s fish measured 17.5 inches.

Lake Flavia is a man-made lake at the Country Side Gravel Inc.’s operation near South Dayton in western Cattaraugus County, said the DEC. “Under a cooperative agreement with Country Side Gravel Inc., a portion of the lake is open to the public for shore fishing only. No boating or ice fishing are allowed.

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