It was a good day at Lake Cascade for Bob Shindelar, who landed a 2.6-pound, 16-inch perch while fishing on Saturday. Idaho Fish and Game is recognizing it as a tie with current state record of 2-pound, 9.6-ounce ( which converts to 2.6 pounds) and 15.5-inches set in 1976. That fish was caught in Wilson Lake by Jerry Hamblin of Burley.
In order to break the record, Shindelar's fish would have to be heavier than the current record holder. Length is not considered in the state records, but he will be a co-record holder.
Shindelar was fishing with a tip up with 4-pound test line when he hooked the fish. (A tip up is an ice fishing rig where a line is attached to a rod and flag, and when the fish hits, the flag tips up.) Shindelar set the hook and said "It felt like a heavier fish. I actually thought I had a trout."
Then he saw through the ice hole that it was a perch. "I was like 'holy cow!' It looked like a giant gold fish," he said.
Shindelar weighed the fish on a certified scale on Sunday and then took it to Imperial Taxidermy in Caldwell to have it mounted.
Lake Cascade has been producing lots of big perch this year, and anglers believe it could be harboring the new state record. Dale Allen, regional fisheries manager for Fish and Game, said Cascade has produced several fish long than 15 inches, and he said there's a good chance the state record will be broken. The largest perch tend to be females, which are currently producing eggs that add weight. There's still about a month to six weeks before those fish spawn, Allen said.
Tackle Tom's in Cascade is hosting an ice fishing derby Saturday and Sunday, which will attract a lot of anglers to the reservoir. Shindelar said he will be among them. He said his record-book perch isn't the biggest fish he's ever caught, "but it's the biggest in terms of memory."