Idaho Record Smallmouth Bass
Dworshak Reservoir, located east of Lewiston and close to the central Idaho town of Orofino. It has a long history of giving up large smallmouth bass. Joey Walton, an Idaho angler, had caught fish over 8 pounds and other large smallmouths from the 20,000-acre lake. Even in the frigid winter weather with snow and ice stacked around lake shores, he believed that if he remained focused and kept trying, he would eventually catch a big bass. Joey Walton set out for a long run in his bass boat so early on December 13, when most people were doing Christmas shopping, skiing, snowmobiling, or sitting inside by the fire.
“Having been looking for a record smallmouth bass for months, and already catching several smallmouths this season just shy of the current state record (9.72 pounds), Walton knew he was in for a challenge,” said Martin Koenig, with the Idaho Fish and Game. He ran across the frigid 54-mile-long reservoir dressed in clothing more akin to ice fishing than open-water bass fishing. When Walton finally met the smallmouth bass he had been looking for, all of his hard work paid off.
Walton shared on his Facebook page that the “6th Sense Swim Jig” in shady color and without a trailer caught his enormous smallmouth. Walton stated, “Couldn’t keep it low key forever.” The real deal is the 6th Sense Swim Jig. This 9.1 (record smallmouth bass) squashed it.” Walton released the 23.75-inch, 9.1-pound smallmouth back into the cold, clear, and deep waters of Dworshak Reservoir. He weighed it and measured it accurately with a measuring board, and snapped a few quick pictures.
Koenig, who is in charge of the IDFG’s Natural Resource Program, said that Walton’s bass is the new catch-and-release record for Idaho smallmouth. According to Koenig, Dworshak Reservoir may be remembered for its best year in 2022 because it produced numerous enormous smallmouth bass.
“Assuming circumstances stay reliable, there could be another record coming,” he says. ” However, a truly exceptional fish will be required to break Dan Steigers’ 2006 state record of 9.72 pounds. In the middle of winter, Walton caught such a massive smallmouth bass in a lake that was over 600 feet deep, 1,600 feet above sea level, and located in the shadow of the Bitterroot Mountains in Idaho. Walton kept his catch under wraps. He described his record-setting smallmouth catch in the middle of winter, saying, “It’s pretty cool I finally etched my name in the record book.”