In the world of competitive fishing, what constitutes as an “enormous” fish is highly subjective.
For instance, Grenada Lake saw a trio of four-plus pound crappie and close to fifty additional three-pounders pulled in a single day during an early 2022 Crappie Masters tournament.
Those numbers are absurdly impressive, even for some of the most renowned crappie anglers in the country while fishing on, arguably, the best crappie lake in America.
For most casual anglers, however, anything above two pounds for a crappie is considered a high-level catch. In fact, many people fish their entire lives and never catch a single two-plus pound crappie.
Editor’s note: I was in my 30s before landing my first two-pounder.
When Gary and Amanda Lindenstein shared news (and photos) online of their daughter Sofi’s recent catch, then, the response from the fishing community was overwhelming.
Before we go any further, it is probably important to reiterate that Sofi is just four years old…
Fish of a Lifetime, Caught Before Kindergarten
For those who have caught a two-pound crappie (or heavier), you know that these specimens look and feel quite different than your average 8-to-10-inch crappie. You also know that a massive crappie can put up a tremendous fight.
In the photo above, it is clear just how impressive this fish is. Sofi’s Kearney, Nebraska monster, caught on Cottonmill Lake, weighed in at an impressive 2.37 pounds and measured nearly 16 inches in length.
What is even more impressive is the fact that Sofi landed this bruiser on a child-sized fishing rod while using a simple hook and worm while fishing in a Jon Boat. The crappie struck the worm on a retrieval just a couple feet from the boat and Sofi’s dad was able to lip the fish and hoist it into the boat.
For The Love of the Outdoors
Sofi’s catch may seem like a glorious combination of “beginner’s luck,” “right place, right time,” and “good fortune,” and maybe there is some truth to that. There’s nothing wrong with buying that $250 rod and reel combo, Livescope, trolling motor, and decked out boat, but Sofi’s story is evidence that anyone using the simplest of fishing tools can catch a tremendous fish.
Whether this will be a flash-in-the-pan moment or the start of a promising angling career, however, remains to be seen.
Sofi’s father noted that she spent a lot of time fishing last year and that she and her sister are both interested in hunting as well.
When asked if she would ever catch a larger crappie, Sofi responded with a resounding and convincing “yes!”
Sofi also told us that she has her heart set on catching a big catfish someday.
Her father noted that ever since the big catch, Sofi often comments on crappie photos she sees on Facebook, asking, “that’s pretty good, right, dad?” before adding, like a true angler, “not as big as mine, though…”
Sofi has certainly set the bar pretty high for herself. Fortunately, she has plenty of time on her side to catch even bigger and better fish down the road!