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Fishing: A Family Tradition
Kevin Stockton has been fishing since he was a child. Learning from his grandparents, the North Carolina native has been hitting the water since he was “4 or 5 years old.”
Now, as an adult and father of four, Kevin has passed that family tradition on to the next generation.
Included in that generation is his seven year old son Amarion.
According to Kevin, the family fishes for a variety of species. “We do it all,” he said, citing both bass and bream among other species he and his children specifically target.
It is a massive crappie Amarion caught that has garnered considerable attention from the fishing community over the past week, however.
Catching a Giant Crappie
On March 18, while fishing off a pier owned by Kevin’s uncle on High Rock Lake near Lexington, NC, the elder Stockton realized his son had a fish on the line. At first, Kevin believed his son was battling a catfish.
The fight continued for a while until the fish finally reached the surface.
Kevin scooped the fish in a net and it became clear that Amarion wasn’t reeling in a catfish, but rather an enormous crappie.
Since he did not have a scale on hand, Kevin and his son took the fish home. The next day, they made a 45-minute trip to Hill’s Minnow Farm in Salisbury, NC, to get an official weight.
According to the scales, Amarion’s catch weighed in at an astounding 3.96 pounds.
A New North Carolina State Record Crappie?
In the hours leading up to the official weigh-in, there had been some discussion that Amarion may have landed himself a spot in the record books.
Believing the fish was a white crappie, it would have narrowly edged out an April 2013 North Carolina state record caught by Joey Boretti.
After consulting with a local game warden and marine biologist, however, it was determined that Amarion’s catch was, in fact, a black crappie. Unfortunately, this meant that his impressive haul was still a full pound short of the state record.
At four pounds, fifteen ounces, Dean Dixon’s 1980 catch was still comfortably sitting atop the rankings as North Carolina’s state record black crappie.
A Once-in-a-Lifetime Catch?
Before his son landed a nearly-four pound crappie, Kevin Stockton believed that “two-pounders were big.” He had hoped to secure a mountable, trophy-sized fish, however, and Amarion’s catch certainly meets that criteria.
When asked about his noteworthy achievement, the shy-and-humble Amarion said he hoped to catch a bigger crappie someday but wasn’t sure it would ever happen.