Angler Catches Same Record Smallmouth Bass 2 Years in a Row

record smallmouth bass new york
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Thomas Russell caught a would-be-record, 9-pound smallmouth during a tournament on Cayuga Lake in New York. He says it’s the same fish he caught in the same tournament last year

record smallmouth bass new york

Thomas Russell with his 2023 record bass (left), and what he says is the same fish in 2022 (right). Thomas Russell

Thomas Russell and his long-time fishing partner and cousin Eric Sullivan were targeting smallmouth on Cayuga Lake when they hooked into the biggest smallmouth bass ever caught in New York state. The duo was fishing the Finger Lakes Open team bass tournament and were having a banner day. They already had a limit of five smallmouths in their live well—with several fish over 5 pounds—when Russell spotted a huge bass in Cayuga’s crystal-clear water.

“It was about 2 p.m., and I saw a big fish in just a couple feet of water,” Russell tells Outdoor Life. “I was using a drop-shot rig with a green Berkley Power Bait and cast to it. 

“It took a couple of…

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