Indiana State Record Smallmouth

Indiana stae record smallmouth bass

New Indiana Smallmouth Bass State Record

Rex Remington, age 60, is retiring from his manufacturing engineering job this spring. However, he was not going to wait until then to go fishing. Remington was quick out of the gate, launching his boat on Monroe Reservoir near Bloomington, Indiana, on March 3, 2024.

On this late winter day, the water temperature was only 45 degrees. Still, it was good to get out. It didn’t take long for Remington to catch his first bass on a Berkley Stunna 112 Jerkbait. It was a small keeper largemouth. Then, he lost a good one before catching a four-pounder.

The Freetown area resident told me, I’ve probably caught ten or twelve smallies at Monroe over the last 30 years. Some were three-plus pounds. You will see a few weighed in during tournaments each year. I’ve seen several over five pounds. I actually weighed a smallmouth at a Red Man Tournament in 1988. This was very rare back then. I caught it near the dam on a Charlie Brewer four-inch Slider worm.

indiana state record smallmouth

A few cast after his first bass, Rex Remington cast his lure into history. “I had no clue the big fish on my line was anything but another largemouth. It rolled on top when I set the hook and then went down,” he said. Remington continued, “I thought this beast of a smallmouth might weigh six pounds. All I wanted to do was release this beautiful fish, but when it pulled my Berkley Scales to 8.1 pounds, I got on my phone and looked up the Indiana state record smallmouth. It was 7 lbs. 4 ozs. I was holding a potential new state record.? Still, Remington was inclined to release this trophy fish. He had no idea how he could certify his record without killing it, so he called his cousin Dean Remington, who recommended releasing this fish into the live well. At the same time, he got the certification process rolling.

Dean contacted his friend and High School Fishing Coach, Chad Smith. Smith called his friend Owen County Conservation Officer Matt Mauder. The CO contacted Babb’s Supermarket. “Yes, you can use our scales,” the manager replied. Rex brought his fish to Spencer to be weighed on the market’s certified scales.

Officer Mauder said, “I’m a rookie CO and have already helped certify a state record fish.” Most COs will retire without even seeing a live record. He also said, “The photos don’t show what a monster this fish is. Mauder recalled the smallmouth measuring 23 inches with a girth of 17.5 inches. “Her tail was red from trying to spawn, but she was still full of eggs,” he said. Mauder also recalled this big female being quite lively while being weighed.

To become a record, the fish must be witnessed by two independent parties on certified scales. A lady at Babb’s and Officer Mauder agreed on the reading of 8.23 pounds.

Spencer is about 30 miles from Monroe. Word got to District Fisheries Biologist Dave Kittaka, who, with his wife, met Rex at the ramp.

It was always about returning this fish to the lake in good shape. Rex Remington did not just release his record back into the waters of Monroe, but in the same creek arm she came from.

I had a chance to interview this biologist when he returned my call yesterday. Will you add this to the article?

After the release, I talked with Kittaka. He regretted not taking a sample of the record smallmouth’s dorsal fin to age the fish. “She was probably near the end of her life cycle of ten to twelve years.”

“This was probably not the first state record smallmouth to come from this 10,700-acre impoundment. In 2017, an Illinois angler was fishing for walleye and caught a huge smallmouth. He sent me a photo. The fish pulled the angler’s spring scales to well over seven pounds. It was after he released the fish that the angler looked up the Indiana state record and realized his catch may have beaten it,”  Kittaka said.

“The big female looked good as she swam away. If she can find a male, she will likely spawn again. The water temperature and time of year were on her side. Had this fish been caught in June, she would not have survived nearly three hours in the livewell and warmer water,” he said.

 

 

About Rick Bramwell 38 Articles
Grew up in rural Indiana fishing farm ponds and hunting woodlands. Bramwell has been writing outdoors for 48 years. He harvested the record typical whitetail for his county and hunts rabbits with his beagle Tramp. He fished bass tournaments, including Red Man, until 1989. Bramwell has put together an ultra-ultra light system for catching panfish that mostly involves tight-lining a small jig. He attended college at Indiana State and Anderson University. Bramwell has two sons in their 50s, Brian and Gregory. A daughter Jourdan age 27. His greatest memory: fishing trout, salmon and halibut in Alaska. Bramwell's passion, apart from the outdoors, has been coaching high school age fastpitch softball.

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