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A Familiar Pastime, Revisited
For Mark Lauridsen of Cedar Lake, Indiana, fishing is a generational pastime. Like many anglers, Lauridsen grew up fishing with his father.
A little over a decade ago, he stepped away from the water during a challenging period of time.
“I put (fishing) down after my father passed,” said Lauridsen, who was diagnosed with cancer a few years later.
After recovering around three years ago, however, Lauridsen found his way back to those familiar roots. With plenty of time on his hands now, Lauridsen considers himself “addicted” to fishing, and it’s hard to argue with that assessment — he was actually on the water when we spoke with him about his recent catch.
A Series of Fortunate Events
On Sunday, May 3rd, Mark Lauridsen stopped by a nearby private pond after an uneventful day on Bruce Lake in Winamac, Indiana.
“I got skunked and had some minnows leftover, so I gave it a shot,” said Lauridsen.
It turned out to be a good decision!
A week or two prior, Lauridsen had landed his then-personal best crappie on the same pond — a respectable 2 lb’er.
His next “PB” was the proverbial “fish of a lifetime,” though.
It Runs in the Family
Before May 3rd, Lauridsen’s niece actually held the previous pond record with a 3.19 pound crappie.
Lauridsen’s catch shattered that record.
Upon the initial weighing, Lauridsen’s crappie was recorded at a monstrous 3.81 pounds. It also measured 18 1/2 inches in length.
While most anglers will never catch its equal, the fish is still nearly a pound shy of Indiana’s state record.
According to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, there is no designation for state records between white and black crappie. The sole record sits at an astounding 4 pounds, 11 ounces, and was caught on a private pond by Willis Halcomb in 1994.
Advice We Can All Live By
When asked if he had any addition thoughts or comments about his catch, Lauridsen had just one simple request:
“All anglers — and if you are out fishing, you are an angler — need to knock off the littering,” said Lauridsen. “You’ve got the understand that this is a privilege we have. Go out, and leave nothing but footprints.”