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Montana: Where Records Where Made to be Broken
If you want to catch a state record fish, here’s a quick tip: move to Montana!
While it may not be considered the world’s premier fishing destination, Montana has had a pretty wild year. Between August 2020 and May 2021, anglers had broken six state fishing records. Several of these are also considered “significant” records, meaning the species is a popular game fish.
Those records include:
- Chinook Salmon: August 16, 2020 | 32.05 pounds on Fort Peck Reservoir
- Smallmouth Bass: October 3, 2020 | 7.84 pounds on Fort Peck Reservoir
- Yellow Bullhead: December 17, 2020 | 1.91 pounds on Tongue River Reservoir
- Brown Trout: March 3, 2021 | 32.42 pounds on Marias River
- Largemouth Bass: April 24, 2021 | 9.58 pounds on Lake Elmo
- Longnose Sucker: May 17, 2021 | 4.21 pounds on Holter Lake
While the largemouth and smallmouth bass are not world records, the fact that both records were broken within seven months is pretty impressive.
Add in the popularity of chinook salmon and brown trout in the region, and Montana is producing a mighty run!
Make Room for One More!
If the records above are not impressive enough, consider this: a seventh Montana state fishing record was recently broken!
Officials from Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks have confirmed that the state has a new record walleye.
Angler Trevor Johnson of Helena landed what would be the second Montana state record (along with the longnose sucker) to be pulled from Holter Lake in a week.
With respect to Austin Wargo’s 4.21 pound longnose, however, the new Montana record walleye is an absolute brute!
Caught on May 10th, Johnson’s walleye weighed in at 18.02 pounds. Just as impressive is the 32.25 inch span. The walleye also had a massive 22 inch girth, making this one of the biggest ‘eyes your eyes will ever see!
In fact, only a handful of states have ever produced a larger walleye. They are:
- Arkansas: 22 pounds, 11 ounces
- Colorado: 18 pounds, 13 ounces
- Kentucky: 21 pounds, 8 ounces
- Missouri: 21 pounds, 1 ounce
- Oregon: 19 pounds, 15.3 ounces
- Tennessee: 25 pounds
- Washington: 19 pounds
Johnson’s new Montana record walleye displaces the previous record. Another whopper, that fish weighed an impressive 17.75 pounds and was caught on the Tiber Reservoir in 2007.