It's official! California has a new state record black crappie. David Burruss of Lakeport has broken the previous, 46-year-old state record with his 4 pound, 5 ounce black crappie caught Feb. 17 while he was bass fishing at Clear Lake in Lake County. Burruss, who owns the Clearlake Outdoors bait and tackle shop, first spotted the fish on his boat's electronic fish finder, suspecting it was a carp due to its large size, particularly when the fish refused his first offering, an underspin lure with a soft plastic bait attached.
The fish bit on Burruss' second cast, leading Burruss to think he had hooked a nice largemouth bass—until the huge crappie surfaced. The previous state record was a 4-pound, 1-ounce black crappie caught in 1975 at New Hogan Lake in Calaveras County. Clear Lake, long recognized as one of the best black bass fisheries in the nation, now holds the California records for both black and white crappie. The state record white crappie at 4 pounds, 8 ounces was caught in Clear Lake back in 1971.