“I couldn’t quit smiling,” Tia recalled. “It was the biggest perch I’ve seen. I was kind of hoping it was a state record.”
When Gary Wiese took a hunting trip to Wisconsin, he hardly expected that it would result in a new world record for yellow perch. Especially since he caught no fish during the trip, the record did not belong to him, and the yellow perch in question was actually caught last March.
So how did it happen? According to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, it was a case of fortunate happenstance. In addition to his love of hunting, Wiese is an avid angler and regularly took trips to Idaho’s Lake Cascade with his 12-year-old daughter, Tia Wiese. The lake was especially popular with anglers because of restoration efforts than started more than a decade ago, when thousands of yellow perch were released into the lake. For the past few years, anglers fishing at Lake Cascade have routinely reported perch over two pounds, and Wiese himself took a fish close to the state record. His daughter, on the other hand, nabbed that record last March.
“She was really excited. She was jumping up and down,” Gary said in a press release. “We were both pretty excited.”
The pair was ice fishing out on the lake when the record perch got tangled in their lines. When Tia Wiese finally managed to land the hefty fish, she said that she knew it was a winner.