What started out as a fun fishing outing at Lake Flavia in western Cattaraugus County on May 6 turned into a momentous catching outing when a 4.075-pound black crappie was reeled in – breaking the 20-year-old state record.
As of Thursday, the new catch (listed as 4 pounds, 1-ounce on the DEC website at www.dec.ny.gov) makes Will Wightman of South Dayton the new record-holder with an 18.5-inch fish that hit a black marabou jig. He was fishing with 12-year-old Dylan Naples of South Dayton, who had caught a 3.65-pound crappie 10 minutes prior.
Lake Flavia is a body of water currently owned by a gravel company. According to the DEC, the state has a cooperative agreement to allow limited shoreline fishing access to the lake for the public. The backside of the lake is still actively mined so no public access is available there. No boats are allowed on the lake.
The former record was caught April 17, 1998 by Ken Kierst while fishing Duck Lake (Cayuga County). It weighed in at 3 pounds, 12 ounces.