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2014 Fish of the Year– not a tall tale but a long one

by Department of Natural Resources on February 25, 2015

As stories go, the DNR’s Fish of the Year contest is always a long one.
Not in words, but in inches. That’s because annual winners are selected on the length of fish they catch and submit to the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife. 

It was no different in 2014, when 78 entries resulted in 33 winners for 31 species. There were ties in two categories – bluegill and crappie.
Winning entry lengths ranged from an 8.5-inch green sunfish caught by Gregory Zentz at Pit 26 in Greene-Sullivan State Forest to the 52.5-inch flathead catfish that Eric Spicer muscled out of the White River in Jackson County.
There were two multiple winners in 2014 – Luke Kosnik (brown trout and walleye) and Brian Waldman (buffalo and hybrid striped bass).
And there were repeat winners, like Robert Ecenbarger of Fort Wayne, who turned in the top cisco catch for the fourth straight year. Tristan Weaver (36.3-inch steelhead trout) and Jeff Armstrong (20-inch common carp) won the same categories in 2013. 

Another consistent winner is David Ben Mullen, who lives in Central (Harrison County). He claimed honors in 2014 for the longest blue catfish at 50 inches. It’s the fourth time in the past five years he has won.
Lake Michigan was once again the biggest producer of winners with four – Kosnik’s two catches, plus a 40-inch king salmon (Bret Rocchietti) and a 20-inch smallmouth bass (Alex Neel).
Fish of the Year winners receive a certificate and patch from the DNR.
For a complete list of 2014 Fish of the Year winners plus information on how to enter the Fish of the Year or the DNR Record Fish programs, visit


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