By Jack Spaulding
The review from the IDNR Fishery Division is now official. A Terre Haute man has broken one of Indiana’s longest standing fish records. Larry Hinesley Jr.’s 5-pound, 5-ounce fish recently topped John William Pio’s 31-year-old, 5-pound, 1-ounce spotted bass record.
On May 24, Hinesley, of Terre Haute, was fishing a private lake in Vigo County when the record spotted bass took his night crawler bait.
Hinesley saw the fish before he cast to it. “I threw every lure in my box, but it wouldn’t take any of them,” Hinesley said. That’s when he switched to a live night crawler. The big bass couldn’t resist, and struck.
Hinesley tired the fish with an ultralight Ugly Stick fishing pole strung with 10-pound-test Spider Wire. “It had my drag running like ‘whirrrrr,’ and my rod was bent over double,” Hinesley said of the fight. “I was talking to my line the whole time saying ‘don’t break, don’t break.’” The fight lasted five or six minutes.
Hinesley became familiar with spotted bass only three weeks before his date with fishing history when he caught a 3-pound fish a friend identified as a spotted bass, instead of the more common largemouth bass. Surprised, Hinesley researched spotted bass, including the former state record.
He began to suspect a new Indiana record was lurking in the lake he normally fished. At 9:30 a.m. on the big day, Hinesley was fishing by himself when he saw the bruiser.
After boating the 5-plus-pounder, he called his brother-in-law, who later identified the fish as a huge spotted bass. Hinesley had it weighed on certified scales at the IGA on Locust Street in Terre Haute.
Spotted bass, also known as Kentucky bass or Kentucky spotted bass, are frequently mistaken for other types of bass. According to the book Fishes of the Central United States, the spotted bass was once widely believed to be a hybrid between largemouth and smallmouth bass. Not until 1927 did ichthyologists recognize the species as distinct.
Spotted bass are most successful in waters somewhat warmer and siltier than those supporting native populations of smallmouth. The fish will sometimes out-compete smallmouth bass in degraded streams.
Hunter education courses
Indiana Conservation Officers are encouraging hunters needing to complete the Indiana Hunter Education Course to plan ahead and enroll early.
According to Conservation Officer J.P. Salb, hunters sometime wait until the last minute to locate a class to enroll in.
“We’ve had hunters call, asking for information on hunter education courses 10 days before leaving on a hunting trip they may have been planning for months.” Salb said.
He encourages hunters to decide on a course location, enroll in it, and then stick with that date. Hunters may find a complete outline of all hunter education courses through the DNR website at www.in.gov/dnr/
Salb reminds hunters in order to purchase an Indiana hunting license, anyone born after January 1, 1986 must successfully complete a hunter education course.
Banned tube causes injury
The popularity of “extreme sports” may be too much temptation for some people. Recently, there debuted what is now called “the killer kite” by natural resource enforcement personnel. Its real name is the Sportsstuff Wego Kite Tube, and it has caused injuries on waters across the Nation, including Indiana’s own Monroe Reservoir at Bloomington. Unfortunately, some people are still using the extremely dangerous tow-behind kite.
The Kite Tube is a 10-foot wide, circular, yellow inflatable tube made to be pulled behind a motorboat. The rider pulls up on two handles on the floor of the tube to become airborne. The cover of the tube displays a skull and crossbones and makes the statement, “Never Kite higher than you are willing to fall.”
Indiana Conservation Officer Tim Beaver investigated an accident involving James Robertson, 18, of Indianapolis. Robertson was riding the Kite Tube at Monroe Reservoir on July 17, 2006 with friends and family. The boat was pulling him about 35 mph, and he was flying about 22 feet in the air. The Kite Tube flipped over in the air and Robertson was slammed back down into the water. He was transported to Bloomington Hospital with a broken collarbone.
Many similar accidents like this one have prompted the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to investigate the dangerous tube. The CPSC is aware of 39 injury incidents involving the Kite Tube. Twenty-nine of these injuries required medical treatment. Injuries include a broken neck, punctured lung, chest and back injuries and facial injuries. There have been reports of two deaths related to the Kite Tube.
Sportsstuff, Inc. has issued a voluntary recall of the Wego Kite Tube. About 19,000 of the tubes have been sold. The kite tubes were sold between October 1, 2005 and July 11, 2006 for about $500.
Consumers are asked to stop using the kite tubes and contact Sportsstuff at 866-831-5524 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CST, Monday thru Friday, to learn how to obtain free replacement products or visit Sportsstuff’s website at www.sportsstuff.com for more information.
This farm news was published in the August 9, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.