Minnesota Angler Lands Massive Crappie While Ice Fishing

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In the world of crappie fishing, a 2+ pound fish is considered pretty big. Plenty of anglers chase after one of these fish their entire lives.

Once you break the three pound mark, you have officially entered a rarefied air even many tournament anglers have yet to eclipse.

For Wyatt Williams of Bloomington, Minnesota, he recently landed his “fish of a lifetime,” comfortably eclipsing the elusive three-pound mark.

Catching the Fish of a Lifetime

Ice Fishing Crappie
Photo via Wyatt Willians

On February 25, 2022, Williams was fishing with his friend Bobby Beattie. The duo had been fishing on a small lake in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.

“We just decided to try this smaller lake,” Williams said. “We knew it had potential for fish to be this size.”

Prior to this outing, Williams’ personal best crappie was a respectable 15 1/4 inches and a little over one pound. The angler, who alternates between crappie and bluegill throughout the year, was hopeful to finally land the type of fish he has spent so many hours chasing.

The duo hit the water earlier in the day equipped with a Razr Ice Aauger and electronics.

“We were chasing schools of fish on Livescope,” Williams noted. “There were pods of fish with about 10 or 20 in a pod. Maybe after 4 or 5 schools, we ended up on one with some nicer fish – probably 12 or 13 inches.”

After a morning filled with smaller crappie, some bluegill, and a couple bass in the two-pound range, Williams was throwing a Clam Outdoors 1/16-ounce Gold/Black Jointed Pinhead Mino in hopes of landing the largest crappie of the day.

What ended up striking, however, would be the largest crappie of his life…

When the fish hit around 3:30 in the afternoon, Williams believed he had hooked up with another bass.

He recalled his friend joking “it could be an 18 inch crappie.”

Once the fish came to the surface, Williams said “we knew immediately that this fish was something different.”

CPR: Catch, Photo, Release

Giant Minnesota Crappie
Photo via Wyatt Willians

Before obtaining any official measurements, Williams and Beattie took a moment to admire the incredible fish.

“We just sat there for 20 seconds in complete awe,” Williams said. “It was unlike anything we’ve ever seen.”

The duo quickly realized that there was a tight window to get the fish weighed and measured before returning it safely to the water.

“After six or seven years of waiting for a fish like this, you know you have to take care of it,” Williams said.

While he was getting a weight, length, and girth, Beattie was constructing a makeshift live well where the fish could recover between sessions.

“We dunked her after each measurement to make sure she stayed wet and hydrated,” Williams noted.

After getting the measurements on his personal best crappie – 3 pounds, 1.7 ounces in weight, 17 3/4 inches in length, and a 15 inch girth – the fish was returned safely to the lake.

The Aftermath: What Comes Next?

While Williams is still recovering from catching the largest crappie of his life, he has no plans of resting on this laurel.

So, what’s next?

“Trying to find one just like it or switch to bluegill for a while,” he said.

It might seem hard to imagine jumping back to bluegill after landing a crappie like this, but Williams – who also runs W2 Custom Rods – has made a habit of catching blues over a pound. He mentioned catching one at was well over a pound and a half, so there are still plenty of nice fish to be caught by the Minnesota angler.

If Williams does manage to catch another crappie “just like” this one, however, he will join an incredibly select group of anglers who have multiple 3+ pounders on their resume.

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