Light-tackle angler lands massive ‘freak of nature’ sunfish

Light-tackle angler lands massive ‘freak of nature’ sunfish
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Zac Mickle has a knack for catching huge redear sunfish at Arizona’s Lake Havasu, but during a recent outing Mickle landed a redear so massive and plump that he described the fish as “a freak of nature.”

The egg-laden sunfish measured 16-1/4 inches and weighed 5.07 pounds. On Facebook Mickle boasted, “By far the greatest fish I have ever caught.”

The average redear sunfish weighs about a pound, perhaps a tad heavier in some fisheries. Much larger redear sunfish have been caught, but catches exceeding 5 pounds are extremely rare.

Zac Mickle with 5.07-pound sunfish. Photo: Stephanie O’Loughlin

The International Game Fish Assn. lists as the all-tackle world record a 6-pound, 4-ounce redear sunfish caught at Havasu last May. The catch, by Thomas Farchione, is also the Arizona state record.

ALSO: Breaching humpback whale lands on boat in harrowing encounter caught on video

Mickle told FTW Outdoors that he was fishing near submerged timber with 4-pound-test line and a piece…

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