A Terre Haute angler has broken one of the longest-standing
fish records of the state with a 5-pound-5-ounce spotted bass. Larry Hinesley,
Jr. holds the new record. John William Poe, who held the old record, posted
a 5-pound, 1 1/2 - ouncer in 1975 in Howard County.
On May 24 Hinesley was fishing a private lake
in Vigo County when he spotted the state’s largest spotted bass. But the
fish would not take his bait. It is difficult to take fish you can see.
He changed to every bait he had, but the fish
refused them all. Finally, in desperation, Hinesley switched to a live
night crawler and the big fish hit it.
“I was talking to my line (10-pound test) all
the time . . . I was saying don’t break . . . don’t break.” The fight
lasted about five or six minutes.
Hinesley became familiar with spotted bass--a
species often mistaken for largemouth bass--some three weeks earlier when
he caught a three-pounder from the same lake. That fish made him realize
there may be a buster of the species in the lake. After catching the 5-pounder,
he called his brother-in-law to verify the fish’s identity.
The spotted bass looks very much like a largemouth--including
the lateral line. But it also has many diamond-shaped splotches of
black on the upper half of the body. The dorsal fin is divided in spiny
(forward) and unspiny (after) sections like the largemouth. Still, spotted
bass, often are mistaken for other bass.
Still another identification mark bass mark is
the position of the eye to a vertical line of the jaw hinge. The vertical
line of the jaw hinge runs behind the eye of the largemouth, through the
center of the eye of the smallmouth, and through the back part of the eye
in the spotted. But the spotted still is often mistaken.
Bill James, chief of the Fisheries Division for
more than 30 years, says the spotted bass once was believed to be a hybrid
between largemouth and smallmouth before it was definitely identified as
a separate species.
The late Woody Fleming, then the director of the
DFW, and I took turns setting the state record for spotted bass one afternoon
on an embayment of the Ohio River. The DFW had just included spotted bass
in it’s record program. Each of us set the record several time, but neither
of us entered our fish.
We were catching them on artificials. They were
known as Kentucky bass. A two-three pound spot is a good one. Five pounds
is stretching it, but larger fish do occur.
Early Migrating Bird Season
The DFW has announced the season dates and bag-possession
limits for early migrating birds. They are, by species:
Sora Rail--Sept. 1 to and including Nov.
9. 25 daily bag and possession.
Mourning Doves—Sept. 1 to Oct. 15, and Nov 10
to Nov. 24. 15 and 30.
Woodcock—Oct. 14 to Nov. 27. 3 and 6.
Common Snipe—Sept. 1 to Dec. 16. 8 and 16.
Blue, Green-wing Teal Only--Sept. 1 to Sept.
16. 4 and 8.
Canada Goose Only --Sept. 1 to Sept. 15.
5 and 10.
Notes: No season was set for common moorhen (gallinules),
king, clapper or Virginia rail. Teal and early-season goose hunting is
not allowed at Kankakee State Fish and Wildlife Area. Hovey Lake
FWA does not allow early-season goose hunting.
Several state areas require non-toxic shot for dove fields. Check state
properties for special regulations for these species. Regular waterfowl
dates and regulations have not been set.
DNR Receives Great
Blue Heron Award
The Department of Natural Resources is to get
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services’ Great Blue Heron Award for its part
in the acquisition of Goose Pond, the new Fish and Wildlife Area in southwestern
Indiana, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at The Garrison at Fort Harrison State Park.
Goose Pond has been sought by conservationists for many years.