A young angler recently caught the new Florida state record shoal bass.
On March 8, young angler Tucker Martin, 17, caught the new Florida state record shoal bass while bank fishing on the Chipola River in northwest Florida. He hooked the shoal bass after casting a spinnerbait underneath a bridge on the river. Martin was targeting largemouth and spotted bass, so the shoal bass came as a surprise.
The fish weighed in at four pounds eight ounces (4lbs., 8oz.) and measured 20.3 inches in length. Martin and his grandfather met with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) regional biologist Chris Paxton to confirm the new record.
After weighing the fish on certified scales, Paxton confirmed the fish as the new Florida state record shoal bass. It surpassed the previous record by an impressive six ounces.
“Whereas central Florida is especially renowned for trophy largemouth, the Florida Panhandle has numerous species of uniquely evolved black bass that we are proud to promote and manage,” Paxton said. “It was a delight getting to document another state record from this area.”
“Shoal bass are one of five black bass species found in Florida. Black bass are all part of the sunfish family, which includes bluegill and crappie. The Florida largemouth bass is by far the most common and largest of the black basses in the state. In addition to the shoal, Florida has Choctaw, spotted and Suwannee basses. All four are found in northwest Florida, whereas the largemouth is found throughout the state.”
There has been a recent influx of new state record fish being caught. It probably won’t be long before another record falls.