WATERTOWN, N.Y. — Jordan Tontarski said he was sure that he had caught a trophy pumpkinseed, a species of sunfish, while ice fishing on the Black River back in late January.
Getting that fact confirmed by the state Department of Environmental Conservation, and that it tied the existing state fishing record for that type of fish was another thing.
“I’ve caught a lot of pumpkinseeds over the years out of that river and I know what one looks like,” he said.
Tontarski, 33, of Watertown, caught the 11 1/2-inch fish while ice fishing with friends on Jan. 26. He used a small jig tipped with a spike (a maggot).
The 1-pound, 9 ounce fish was big enough to win the panfish division in the NYS Winter Classic fishing tournament, earning Tontarski a $400 check and a trophy. As a winner, Tontarski also got the fish mounted for free By Kersten Hirsh, a North Syracuse taxidermist.
Getting the fish declared a state record,…