Would you release it if you thought you caught a new smallmouth record in your state?
Tommy Quinzi was fishing like he always does on the New York side of Lake Erie. Then, all of a sudden, he set hooks into a smallmouth bass so big, it very well may have been the largest ever caught in the state. Weighing in on boat scales at 8.26 pounds, at the very least, it would have tied the current record. Should that bass have hit certified scales, it very well may have been a new New York smallmouth record. The only problem with the whole thing though, Quinzi let it go before finding out.
Well.... it's all downhill from here. Captured what is likely the largest smallmouth bass I will ever lay my hands on today. At 22-1/4" long, estimated 20+" girth, and 8.26 pounds, it would have at least tied the NYS record. I'm happy to report she is still swimming, as pursuing the record honestly means nothing to me compared to being able to watch this fish swim away to pass along her longevity and resilience so that we can continue to catch fish like this for years to come. More importantly, I got to share this moment with my dad, brother, uncle, and captain Jim Hanley. Capt Jim knows his water more intimately than anyone, and you won't meet a better man to spend a day on the water with. Short reflection on the fish of a lifetime, I'm still not sure I believe I caught this fish today. @gofishjim #smallmouthbass #smalljaw #smallmouth #lakeerie #buffalony #fishofalifetime #whitewhale
Regardless of whether or not it's a record, who cares. It's a giant bass and one any bass fisherman in the world would be jealous of. If they say they aren't, they are a liar.
Congrats Tommy on such a great fish! Also, here's an even bigger congratulations on letting it go! If I caught, I don't know if I could have followed your example!