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Seasoned anglers usually agree that pound-for-pound, the smallmouth bass is one of the most fierce fighters you can find in fresh water.
Often known as “smallies,” “brown backs,” or bronzebacks,” smallmouth bass are generally smaller than their largemouth counterparts. As you will find on the list below, however, that doesn’t necessarily mean these fish are small.
So, how big can a smallmouth get?
Want to know the difference between largemouth, smallmouth, white, striped, and spotted bass? Visit the link below.
A World Record Smallmouth Bass?
Fun fact: In 1955, the Kentucky state record smallmouth bass was caught by David L. Hayes on Dale Hollow Lake. Over sixty years later, Hayes’ catch not only holds up as the Kentucky state record, but also as the all-tackle world record. At 11 lbs 15 oz, it’s unlikely that anyone will be surpassing that record in the near future.
Other state record smallmouth bass that come anywhere close include North Carolina’s 10lb’er, caught in 1955 and Alabama’s 10 lb, 8 oz catch in 1950.
Looking to catch a record-breaking smallmouth bass? Our advice is to build a time machine and go back to the 1950s…
If that’s not possible, there’s still some good news.
Several state record smallmouths have been caught in more recent years.
In 2016, Michigan saw Bruce Kraemer caught a 9 lb 15 oz smallmouth on the Indian River (pictured above). That same year, Patrick Hildenbrand tied the previous New York state record with an 8 lb 4 oz catch out of Lake Ontario.
In 2019, Joe Capilupo caught the new Illinois state record smallmouth bass — a beautiful 7 lb 3 oz mammoth — while fishing in downtown Chicago. While it was not the coveted largemouth, Capilupo’s catch was one of the most talked about in the entire nation that year.
As with our list of every state record largemouth bass, there are some states missing below. Both Alaska and Florida — the usual culprits — do not have a state record smallmouth listed. Also joining them on the list is Louisiana.
Now, without any further ado, let’s check out the list!
|Alabama||10 lbs 8 oz||Wheeler Dam (tailwater)||Owen F. Smith||1950|
|Arizona||7 lbs 0.96 oz||Roosevelt Lake||Dennis K. Barnhall||1988|
|Arkansas||7 lbs 5 oz||Bull Shoals Lake||Acie Dickerson||1969|
|California||9 lbs 13 oz||Pardee Reservoir (Amador)||Harold Hardin||2007|
|Colorado||6 lbs 11 oz||Aurora Reservoir||Raymond Ong||2011|
|Connecticut||7 lbs 12 oz||Shenipsit Lake||Joseph Mankauskas Jr.||1980|
|Delaware||4 lbs 15 oz||Brandywine River||Jerry Proffitt||1989|
|Georgia||7 lbs 2 oz||Lake Chatuge||Jack Hall||1973|
|Hawaii||4 lbs 15.68 oz||Secret Location||Chad Boteilho||2004|
|Idaho||9 lbs 11.5 oz||Dworshak Reservoir||Dan Steigers||2006|
|Illinois||7 lbs 3 oz||Lake Michigan||Joe Capilupo||2019|
|Indiana||7 lbs 4 oz||Twin Lake||Dana Yoder||1992|
|Iowa||7 lbs 12 oz||West Okoboji Lake||Rick Gray||1990|
|Kansas||6 lbs 8.8 oz||Milford Reservoir||Frank Evans Jr.||2010|
|Kentucky||11 lbs 15 oz||Dale Hollow Lake||David L. Hayes||1955|
|Maine||8 lbs 0 oz||Thompson Lake||George Dyer||1970|
|Maryland||8 lbs 4 oz||Liberty Reservoir||Gary Peters||1974|
|Massachusetts||8 lbs 2 oz||Wachusett Reservoir||Barbara Sasen||1991|
|Michigan||9 Lbs 15 oz||Indian River||Bruce Kraemer||2016|
|Minnesota||8 lbs 0 oz||West Battle Lake||John Creighton||1948|
|Mississippi||7 lbs 15 oz||Pickwick Lake – Yellow Creek Arm||Thomas Wilbanks||1987|
|Missouri||7 lbs 2 oz||Stockton Lake||Kevin S. Clingan||1994|
|Montana||6 lbs 6.6 oz||Fort Peck Reservoir||Mike Otten||2002|
|Nebraska||7 lbs. 4 oz||Missouri River||Dennis Swanson||2000|
|Nevada||8 lbs 11 oz||Sheep Creek Reservoir||Curtis Ockerman||2010|
|New Hampshire||7 lbs 14.5 oz||Goose Pond||Francis H. Lord||1970|
|New Jersey||7 lbs 2 oz||Round Valley Reservoir||Carol Marciniak||1990|
|New Mexico||7 lb 3 oz||Canadian Reservoir||Cale Sanders||2006|
|New York (tie)||8 lbs 4 oz||Lake Erie / Lake Ontario||Andrew C. Kartesz / Patrick Hildenbrand||1995 / 2016|
|North Carolina||10 lbs 0 oz||Hiwassee Reservoir||Archie Lampkin||1951|
|North Dakota||6 lbs 13 oz||Lake Darling||Bruce Elberg||2007|
|Ohio||9 lbs 8 oz||Lake Erie||Randy Van Dam||1993|
|Oklahoma||8 lbs 3 oz||Lake Eufaula||Steve McLarty||2006|
|Oregon||7 lbs 14 oz||Henry Hagg Lake||Kevin Silver||2000|
|Pennsylvania||8 lbs 8 oz||Scotts Run Lake||Robert T. Steelman||1997|
|Rhode Island||6 lbs 4 oz||Wash Pond||B. Ferris||1977|
|South Carolina||9 lbs 7 oz||LakeJocassee||Terry Dodson||2001|
|South Dakota||7 lbs 3 oz||Horseshoe Lake||Lyal Held||2016|
|Tennessee||11 lbs 15 oz||Dale Hollow Lake||David L. Hayes||1955|
|Texas||7 lbs 14.88 oz||Lake Meredith||Timothy Teague||1998|
|Utah||7 lbs 6 oz||Midview Reservoir (Lake Borham)||Alan Iorg||1996|
|Vermont||6 lbs 12.96 oz||Lake Eden||Issac Spaulding||2003|
|Virginia||8 lbs 1 oz||New River||Donald S. Eaton, Jr||2003|
|Washington||8 lbs 12 oz||Columbia River – Hanford Reach||Ray Wonacott||1966|
|West Virginia||9 lbs 12 oz||South Branch||David Lindsay||1971|
|Wisconsin||9 lbs 1 oz||Indian Lake||unknown||1950|
|Wyoming||5 lbs .94 oz||Flaming Gorge Reservoir||Bubba O’Neil||2003|
Know of any records that need updated? Let us know in the comments section below.