Record bass confirmed

by Editorial Staff | November 14, 2022
an x-ray of record-breaking smallmouth
Photo: Ohio Department of Natural Resources

A 10.15-pound, 23.75-inch smallmouth bass caught in Lake Erie by an Ohio angler earlier this month is the new Ontario record.

The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH), which operates the Ontario Record Fish Registry, confirmed the record on Monday, Nov. 14 after Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) biologists confirmed the fish was free of foreign objects via X-ray.

Gregg Gallagher of Fremont netted record bass using drop-shot and eight-pound test on Thursday, Nov. 3. The species, length, and 19.275-inch girth were vetted ODNR biologists, who held the fish pending confirmation.

68-year-old record beat

The smallmouth — the only certified 10-pound bass caught in any of the Great Lakes — beat the previous record of 9.84 pounds from Birchbark Lake, near Kinmount, northwest of Peterborough, set in 1954.

It’s also the third largest registered as a jurisdictional record behind the world record from Dale Hollow Lake on the Tennessee/Kentucky border (11 pounds, 15 ounces) and the Alabama state record from Wheeler Dam (10 pounds, 8 ounces), ODNR Lake Erie Fisheries Program Administrator Travis J. Hartman stated in an email.

“We are all fortunate to have witnessed and documented this truly amazing catch,” he wrote. “While I don’t believe it is possible to truly document a representative list of every certified 10-pound smallmouth bass ever caught, we know that there isn’t evidence of a certified 10-pound smallmouth in any Great Lake or connected waterway.”

OFAH Ontario Record Fish Registry

“We have have various requirements for fish being entered including, among other things, how the fish is caught, ensuring relevant fishing rules are strictly adhered to, specific measurements that must be taken, photo documentation, witnesses, weights being taken on government-inspected scales, species identification verification from registry officials, etc.” OFAH Fisheries Biologist Adam Weir wrote. “It engages anglers and the public, provid(ing) standalone angler recognition of a major achievement, a snapshot in time.”

To check out more Ontario Fish Registry records, click here

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