12 Year Old Catches and Releases Possible State Record Bluegill

Seldom in the northeast is a bluegill mentioned when the subject of “fish of a lifetime” is discussed. But then again your average ‘gill does not weigh in at 2 pounds, 5 ounces! That is the size of the bluegill that 12-year-old John Aldorasi hauled out of Spot Pond in Stoneham last Monday! And few would dispute that a bluegill such as this qualifies as a fish of a lifetime.

John and his dad, John Aldorasi Sr., hadn’t been out fishing for awhile so they were looking for a special spot. It ended up being a prudent move enlisting the services of Peter Santini of Fishing FINatics, who advised them to give the scenic Spot Pond a try. Shortly into their excursion, they saw a fish that they couldn’t identify cruising among the shallows. Was it a carp? A disfigured bass? The last species they considered was the all-too-common and usually stunted sunfish. Dad advised his son to toss out his worm/bobber combo and the fish struck. And then it took drag! As John brought the fish to hand after a brisk battle, the two realized that this was indeed a bluegill, and one of enormous proportions.

These anglers came prepared with a scale, which confirmed the bluegill was an absolute monster and stretched the digital scale to the 2-pound, 5-ounce mark. John Aldorasi Sr knew that the fish was special but also knew that there was no way they could keep such a survivor. There was no argument from John Jr. as they watched the giant ‘gill swim away. If the scale proves accurate, John’s fish would have been the new Massachusetts State Record for a sunfish, which currently is 2 pounds, 1 ounces. However, Masswildlife regulations state that a potential state record fish must be submitted whole to authorities, and this fish is still swimming.

When I asked John Sr. if either he or his son had any regrets after having realized that they released what quite possibly was the new state record, without hesitation he said that they had no remorse and that the remarkable fish deserved to live! Obviously these two have more in common than just a love for angling, they also share a big heart. Think of this ‘gill the next time one steals your trout worm and I bet you’ll handle that fish with newfound respect.


20 on “12 Year Old Catches and Releases Possible State Record Bluegill

  1. Greg

    Great catch! the greatest memory you can cherish is the fact that you hooked and handled the record with your father…priceless! Angle on!

  2. George

    Awesome catch John Jr!. Make sure your dad gets a replica mount done for you so you’re both reminded of this lifetime catch often.

  3. phil

    great job on the release now maybe someone else can enjoy catching it too
    why do all these people need to keep a 50 pound striper?
    if I caught a record (for me) striper I would release so it can repopulate
    in a few years don’t complain when there are not many stripers left

  4. paul silva

    love it , Dad that’s the way to teach your son , catch and release , fishermen are too caught in catching the best and largest , by releasing this fish think of all the generations more that may be coming from this . good going DAD ,

    1. John A

      Thank you, we botth agree, we were very
      Happy to let that dinosaur go.

  5. Alan Tytel

    You and your father rock. Great job son you should be very proud

  6. john angel

    congrats. fine fish. impressive sports ethics. you lead by example.

    congrats, excellent fish. impressive ethics. you lead by example!

  7. Rick

    John, I live in Stoneham, fish at Spot Pond, and have never even seen a bluegill. Congratulations and good for you releasing it. We all know it’s a new record and we all know you’re a terrific sportsman!

  8. TOM WINIARSKI

    You both deserve a big pat on the back. That is a fish of a life time and glad to see it still swims! In my book you hold the Mass. state record!

  9. Jeanette Rednour

    John Jr. & John Sr. That is just an awesome story; an awesome fish; & an awesome respect for that “survivor”. I hope that we can teach our grandson that kind of respect for the fish we are teaching him to catch (he is 3). So far he would rather let them go than keep them, hope he continues that attitude. Again congratulations on the catch of a lifetime, hope you experience many more. Keep up the good work. Have fun.

  10. Kathy

    Wonderful job on teaching your Son that it is not All about a Record, But that it is Truly about having a Wonderful (Probably once in a lifetime) experience between Father and Son to ALWAYS cherish together. And also for teaching him to have a Kind and Big Heart to release that Fish so it can Live On!!! God Bless You Both 🙂 Kathy from Texas

  11. arthur damman

    That is one nice fish there little guy. And you have pics which is good enough for a memory.

  12. Lee DeForest

    Terrific that they kept that DNA in the “pond”! Now, if only everyone would let the big ones go. If they want to cook up a few make them the smaller ones!

  13. Brandt

    If only there were more Anglers with your true love of fishing! I applaud your decision to release! That fish is truly once in a lifetime, not to mention the memories which you and your father will always have! Tight Lines!

  14. Craig wayda

    Nice fish that’s second monster. Blue gill I’ve seen. The first one I seen came out of a private pond it weighed two pounds 4 onz. It was caught. In Ms. at a fish hachery!

  15. luis ortiz

    first of all great job second of all where did you cacth that gigantic nice BLUEGILL?

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