Massive sunfish catch still a ‘pending’ world record, IGFA says

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The International Game Fish Assn. confirmed Friday that it’s reviewing a May 4 catch of a massive redear sunfish as a potential world record.

“You may have seen this fish circulating the Internet in the past few weeks,” the IGFA stated on Facebook. “The IGFA recently received the application from Thomas Farchione for this enormous 2.83-kilogram (6-pound, 4-ounce) redear sunfish.

“This fish would potentially set the IGFA All-Tackle Record for the species and was caught out of the same lake in Arizona (Havasu) as the previous record.”

Lake Havasu is a reservoir on the Colorado River along the Arizona-California border.

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Farchione, of Waterford, Wis., used a nightcrawler to entice the slab-like sunfish onto his hook. He was fishing in California Bay in 25 feet of water.

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Since then his catch has been described as a pending world record. The IGFA on Friday explained that the approval process is “still under review.”

The current record – 5 pounds, 12 ounces – was set in February 2014 by Hector Brito.

Redear sunfish are native to Gulf states from Texas to Florida, north to Indiana and North Carolina. But their range has been expanded considerably in the U.S., thanks to introductions.

The fish are prized by light-line anglers for their fighting ability and as table fare.