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Thursday, June 30, 2022

While Fishing on Cayuga Lake:

Albion man hooks record smallmouth bass says NY State DEC

An Albion man may have made the catch of a lifetime on June 15, And he gained a really nice fishing story in the process.

Thomas Russell Jr. reeled in an 8 pound, 6 ounce smallmouth bass June 15 from Cayuga Lake in Seneca County, state Department of Environmental Conservation officials said in a news release. His bass surpassed the previous record by 2 ounces, a tie between fish caught on Lake Erie in 1995, and in the St. Lawrence River in 2016.

Russell’s catch was made on the opening day for bass harvest season.

“Smallmouth bass are one of New York’s most popular freshwater sportfish and it’s exciting to share the great news of Mr. Russell’s record-breaking catch,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “New York’s Finger Lakes are truly an angler’s paradise, providing exceptional fishing opportunities for a variety of sportfish.”

Pound for pound, smallmouth bass are considered one of the hardest-fighting freshwater fish in New York. When hooked, they will often leap acrobatically out of the water, making them a highly desirable sportfish for anglers to target.

They can be found across the state in cooler lakes, rivers, and creeks in rocky/gravelly areas.

Russell submitted details of his winning catch as part of DEC’s Angler Achievement Awards Program, which keeps track of state record fish. Through the program, anglers can enter freshwater fish that meet specific qualifying criteria and receive official recognition of their catch and an embroidered patch commemorating their achievement. The three categories that make up the program are: Catch and Release, Annual Award, and State Record.

Russell’s catch is the second state record set this year. The state record for channel catfish was broken May 8 when Bailey Williams of Watertown reeled in a 35-pound, 12-ounce channel catfish from the Black River in Jefferson County.

For more information about the Angler Achievement Awards Program, including a downloadable application form, visit DEC’s website at https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7727.html.

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