BISMARCK, North Dakota — A state-record goldeye caught by a 9-year-old North Dakota boy might qualify as a world record.
Brayden Selzler, of Velva, reeled in a 4-pound, 12-ounce goldeye from Lake Audubon on Friday, while fishing in a canoe with his 6-year-old cousin. It shattered the 1998 state record by nearly a pound and might eclipse a nearly three-decade world record for a kept goldeye.
Brayden, who said he has fished "since I could hold a rod," was fishing for bass at the time and said his catch initially didn't impress him much. Goldeye, which are commonly called skipjack in North Dakota, are not a game fish and not actively sought by anglers.
But when Brayden's father, Justin, saw the size of the fish, "we hopped in the pickup and went to Garrison to have it weighed," Brayden said. "We found out right at the spot" that it was a state record.
The recognized overall all-tackle world record for a kept goldeye is a 3-pound, 13-ounce fish that Gary Heuer, of Aberdeen, South Dakota, caught in Lake Oahe in 1987, according to the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame in Hayward, Wisconsin, which keeps world records.
Selzler would have to apply for a world record and meet all of the qualifications to take Heuer's record, hall spokeswoman Vicki Musiala said. Brayden's mother, Dorothy Jo, said he plans to apply.
Heuer, 72, said he will not be disappointed if he loses the record because "that would mean somebody else had some good luck."
Greg Power, fisheries chief for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said it is no surprise that the state record and possible world record goldeye came from Lake Audubon. There are not many of the fish in the lake, and thus not a lot of competition for the bugs they like to eat.
"There's not a lot of them, but what's in there are big," he said.
Power said he thinks it is exciting that a young boy is the holder of a state record.
"Over time I will undoubtedly forget how big the fish was, but I will not forget the boy's smile," he said.
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