World Champion Fisherman Lands a Michigan Mini-Monster

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Lake St. Clair, St. Clair County, MI — May 23, 2024

While still fishing with minnow bait recently in St. Clair County, Michigan, an angler from Adrian caught a state-record fish: a white perch weighing 2 pounds, 5.92 ounces and measuring 16.25 inches.

Scott Smith with his record-setting white perch / DNR Photo

Scott Smith was fishing with a friend on Lake St. Clair, the expansive freshwater basin that connects Lake Huron and Lake Erie, the afternoon of Thursday, April 25, when he reeled in what he called a “monstrous” white perch. Their last catch of the day, the fish ended up being a record-breaker.

This fish beats the previous state-record white perch – 2 pounds, 13.57 inches – caught in 2015 by Cindy Cordo out of Bear Lake in Muskegon County.

Smith’s fish was verified by Cleyo Harris, a fisheries biologist with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

This Guy Can Catch Big Fish

“I’ve been fishing in Michigan for close to 65 years,” Smith said. “I grew up fishing the Detroit River. We used to ride our bikes down there as kids, throw in a line with our bait, and ‘ride’ the catch home.”

Photo Credit / Michigan DNR

Smith is no stranger to big fish. After setting his first world record from the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame for a rainbow trout in 1996, he was hooked. He now holds 53 world records – a mix of line-class and all-tackle awards – in fly fishing and has participated in fishing tournaments around the globe.

“Sometimes you’re in the right spot at the right time, and sometimes you just get lucky.”

A dentist and fly-fishing guide, Smith also has been a fly-fishing instructor in northern Michigan for 35 years. This is his first state-record fish.

About the program

Michigan’s state-record fish are recognized by weight only. To qualify, fish must exceed the current listed state-record weight, and identification must be verified by a DNR fisheries biologist.

View the current list of record-holders by species at Michigan.gov/StateRecordFish.

For more on planning your next fishing adventure – including getting a license, choosing the gear and finding the perfect spot – visit Michigan.gov/Fishing.