Charles Dewey is one of the best panfish anglers in the state.
His multiple records and big fish awards from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department attest to that fact.
Now, he might be known as one of the best in the world after a Rio Grande cichlid he caught on Sept. 2, 2011 was recently certified as the official world record by the International Game Fish Association.
“I submitted paperwork to the IGF in March and just got the certificate back,” Dewey said. “The fish was 2.20 pounds, 11.1 inches long and had a 12-inch girth.”
Dewey said he was fishing with ultralight tackle and using earthworms as bait.
Along with Lake Dunlap, which Dewey said has been a little off this year for Rios, the Comal and San Marcos rivers are great places to look for trophy cichlids.
“The hotspot right now is the Comal River,” he said. “But this time of year, there are a lot of swimmers you have to watch out for.”
Dewey said the prime months to catch cichlids are the months of August, September and October, before the first cold weather.
“They are not a cold-water fish,” he said. “Anything below 58 degrees is fatal. Between 72 and 82 degrees is optimal.”