April 14, 2010
Raleigh, North Carolina — For the second time in less than month, a
Nashville angler has reeled in the white crappie state record from
the Tar River Reservoir.
Ray Patterson caught the latest record-breaker, which weighed 3
pounds, 12 ounces, on April 6, surpassing by a mere one ounce the
previous record holder, caught by Tracey Smith on March 8.
Patterson used a cane pole and a live minnow, a bait he swears by,
claiming a live minnow catches crappie in a way that no jig can. And
he should know. Catching big crappie is a favorite pastime for
Patterson, who crappie fishes the reservoir at least three times
each week, from the first of April to the middle of June.
Ray Patterson with his state record White
He said he’s caught many crappie, some of which would have beaten
the one that earned him the new state record. In fact, he said he
didn’t think the one he caught on April 6 was a record breaker;
however, a couple of anglers in a boat beside him told him the fish
was the biggest crappie they’d ever seen and suggested he have it
weighed. He took it down to D & J Grocery and Grill on S. Old
Carriage Road in Rocky Mount and had it weighed on certified scales.
The next day, Bill Collart, a fisheries biologist with the N.C.
Wildlife Resources Commission, confirmed the fish as the new state
As evidenced by the last two state records, some of the best white
crappie populations are found in Piedmont reservoirs, such as the
Tar River Reservoir. White crappie prefer structure and often are
found near fallen trees, stumps, docks and thick stands of aquatic
vegetation. This type of habitat is in abundance in the Tar River
Reservoir, which is known for producing large crappie, both black
To qualify for the state record, anglers must have caught the fish
by rod and reel or cane pole, have the fish weighed on a scale
certified by the N.C. Department of Agriculture, witnessed by one
observer, have the fish identified by a fisheries biologist from the
Commission and submit an application with a full, side-view photo of
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