News release: DNR certifies a state record hybrid sunfish

October 24, 2022

An angler caught a one pound 12-ounce hybrid sunfish from Green Lake in Kandiyohi County that the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has certified as tying the weight-based state record. The record fish’s weight ties that of a hybrid sunfish caught from the Zumbro River in 1994.

Aaron Ardoff caught the sunfish on Sept. 18 when he was fishing with his brother and a friend. He was catching bass and pike with a black and orange spinnerbait when the sunfish bit his lure.

“As soon as I started reeling, I could tell this wasn’t fighting like a pike or bass,” Ardoff said. “When the fish got closer I could see that it was a sunfish and I started panicking! I kept telling myself to not go crazy and just get it in.” 

Ardoff brought the fish to a local tackle shop, where he met the local fisheries supervisor who identified the fish as a hybrid sunfish and witnessed the fish weighed on the shop’s certified scale. A hybrid sunfish is a cross between two species of sunfish.

The DNR announces state records in news releases, on social media and on the DNR website. Find current records and guidelines for each type of state record at on the DNR record fish page.