September 2007

Super Striper Smashes State Record

Noel Arnold of Wittmann was fishing at Lake Pleasant and decided to try a water dog in the wee hours of the morning on Aug. 8, and caught a new inland state record striped bass weighing 27.28 pounds and measuring 42.25 inches long.

In fact, Arnold was planning to catch just one more fish before catching some sleep so he could meet his dad in the morning to fish for largemouth bass at first light. He ended up not getting any sleep. But, he doesn’t mind.

Arnold’s monster striper shatters the existing inland state record of 23-pounds, 8-ounces that measured 39.25 inches long that was caught from Alamo Lake on May 3, 1997 by David Jackson of Phoenix. The previous inland state record is the only known striper to be caught at Alamo Lake.

Arnold caught his new state record while fishing 45 feet down while anchored in 100 feet of water in the upper half of Lake Pleasant in the general area of the 1702 sign.

He was night fishing beneath artificial lights while using frozen anchovies most of the evening to catch 1- to 5-pound stripers.  He decided to hook up a large, 7-inch water dog on a Texas rig using 12-pound test line. The fight lasted more than 40 minutes.

 “It took forever to land the fish. It kept stripping off line time and again,” Arnold said, but he finally subdued the powerful striper.

Arnold is an avid angler and hunter who has caught more than 500 stripers from Lake Pleasant in the past year.  He plans to have the record fish mounted.

Arizona Game and Fish Department biologists said the fish was in excellent condition. According to estimates by research biologist Bill Stewart, who conducted the striped bass study at Lake Pleasant, the record striper was probably 13-14 years old.

That means this fish was likely one of the original invaders from the Central Arizona Project Canal when the new Lake Pleasant was completed 15 years ago.