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On the evening of Tuesday, May 15, 2018, Lionel “Jam” Ferguson went fishing on Richeison Pond in Tennessee near the town of Paint Rock. As with most anglers who hit the water, there’s always the potential thrill of a trophy catch. While Ferguson certainly expected to catch something, what he didn’t expect was for his catch to break the internet — or a world record.
Catching the Black Crappie World Record
Equipped with some Kalin’s Triple Threat 2″ Grubs (in John Deere color), Ferguson hauled in a catch that, by nature of becoming the new world record black crappie, also shattered several other preexisting records.
Before we talk about those records, however, let’s focus on the big one.
After being weighed on a certified scale by a Loudon, Tennessee wildlife officer, reality set in that Ferguson had landed a once-in-a-lifetime black crappie.
As certified by the International Game Fish Association, and weighing an astonishing 5 pounds, 7 ounces*, Ferguson’s catch comfortably became the new all-tackle world record black crappie.
Note: This is the official weight from the IGFA database. Various sources also list the weight as both 5 pounds, 7.68 ounces and 5.46 pounds.
But, you may be wondering, by how much?
The previous black crappie world record was caught by John R. Horstman while fishing a private lake in Missouri on April 21, 2005. Horstman’s crappie weighed 5 pounds (2.26 kg).
Although it goes without saying, Ferguson’s catch also became both the new Tennessee state record and American record black crappie.
But What is the World Record White Crappie?
While Ferguson’s black crappie world record garnered significant media attention, it left many people wondering: what is the white crappie world record?
To find the answer, we have to go back well over half a century to July 31, 1957. Angler Fred Bright was fishing Enid Dam in Mississippi when he landed the heaviest recorded white crappie in history.
Bright’s IGFA certified all-tackle world record weighed in a 5 pounds, 3 ounces (2.35 kg).