GREAT FALLS — A large-mouth bass caught in Lake Elmo in Billings has set a new Montana state record. The 9.575 pound fish tops the previous record by nearly a pound that has stood since 2009.
Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks said in a news release that Brandon Wright caught the 22.5-inch long fish on Saturday while angling from shore with a worm on a hook and six-pound test line.
He officially confirmed the fish’s species, weight, and length by contacting FWP officials and weighing it on a certified scale at a Billings grocery store. It was the first large-mouth bass that Wright ever has caught, and he plans to have it mounted by a taxidermist.
The previous record for a large-mouth bass in Montana was caught by Darin Williams in the Noxon Rapids Reservoir in May 2009; it weighed 8.8 pounds and was 22.5 inches long.
There have been several other state record-setting fish in recent months, including a long-nose sucker in Great Falls in March, a Chinook salmon in August, a small-mouth bass in October, a yellow bullhead in December, and a brown trout in February (details + video).
If you catch a fish in Montana that you think might be a record, FWP says:
- To prevent loss of weight, do not clean or freeze the fish.
- Keep the fish cool—preferably on ice.
- Take a picture of the fish.
- Weigh the fish on a certified scale (found in grocery store or hardware store, etc.), witnessed by a store employee or other observer. Obtain a weight receipt and an affidavit from the store personnel if no FWP official is present. Measure the length and girth.
- Contact the nearest FWP office to have the fish positively identified by a Fisheries Biologist or Manager.