BARRY COUNTY, Mich. — A Middleville man broke a state fishing record for freshwater drum, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources confirmed Tuesday.
According to a release, Mark Leep’s fish weighed 28.61 pounds and measured 34.02 inches. He caught it while spearing on Gun Lake the afternoon of Jan. 24.
A DNR fisheries biologist verified Leeps’ record.
The previous state record dates back to May 1973, when James Black of Muskegon caught a freshwater drum weighing in at 26 pounds and measuring 37.5 inches.
State records are recognized by weight only, the DNR said in a release. Freshwater drum are typically found in the Great Lakes, and the DNR believes Leep’s catch made its way to Gun Lake several years ago.
Because there are limited connections to a large river, officials say the fish may have made its way there through illegal stocking.