For many years Paul Bahr stared at a weathered newspaper clipping of when the current state-record striper was caught from Wilson Lake in 1988. He often dreamed of what it would be like to catch a striper that bested that 43.5 pound fish.
Last Friday the Ellsworth angler found out when he boated a Wilson Lake striper that later weighed 44 pounds on certified scales. The weigh-in was witnessed by Heath Barta, a Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks park ranger, and others. Paul Bahr's 44 pound striped bass is expected to be officially declared a new state-record for the species. He caught the fish last Friday at Wilson Lake. He caught the fish trolling with live shad in about three feet of water, a technique that’s worked well for Bahr and his family. Last month his 11-year-old daughter, Whitney, landed and released a 40.5 pound striper at Wilson. Last May 15-year-old Josh Bahr caught one that weighed 34 pounds.
Wildlife and Parks always waits 30 days from when they receive an application for a state-record fish before making it official in case an investigation is needed.
For more details and to see more photos on the Bahr family and their big stripers check Sunday’s outdoors page in The Eagle or at www.kansas.com.outdoors.