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RALEIGH, N.C. (June 23) — On his last cast of the day, 12-year-old angler Robert Womack reeled in the best catch of his life, landing a new green sunfish state record.

Robert, of Benson, enticed the 15-ounce, 10-inch record-breaker from a 1½-acre pond in Johnston County on May 18, using a live night crawler and Quantum rod and reel combo.

With more than 10 years of fishing under his belt, Robert has fished many ponds with his dad, John, but this was his first time casting a line into this particular pond.

“We usually go fishing in another pond nearby, but I wanted to see what was in this pond,” Robert said. “After I reeled it in, Dad said it was the biggest green sunfish he had ever seen.”

Turns out, Dad has a good eye. The fish was weighed on certified scales at Food Lion in Benson and was verified as a new state record by Bill Collart, a fishery biologist with the Wildlife Commission.

Green sunfish can grow up to 2 pounds, but most are less than a pound. The previous green sunfish state record, held by Craig Wyrick of Gibsonville since Sept. 16, 1998, tipped the scales at 8 ounces.

To qualify for a state record, anglers must have caught the fish on a hook and line, must have the fish weighed on a certified scale witnessed by one observer, have the fish positively identified by a qualified expert from the Commission and submit an application with a full, side-view photo of the fish.

For a list of all freshwater fish state records in North Carolina, visit the Wildlife Commission’s Web site, For more information on fishing in North Carolina’s public, inland waters, call the Wildlife Commission’s Division of Inland Fisheries, (919) 733-3633.


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