Troy Diede thought he’d caught the biggest smallmouth bass of his fishing career the day before he actually did.
He was pre-fishing on Lake Oahe on July 15 for the South Dakota Bass Federation tournament, and within 20 minutes the 36-year-old Sioux Falls resident had caught a 6.39 pound bass — Diede’s personal best for the freshwater fish.
“That could be the biggest smallmouth you’ll catch in your entire life,” Diede recalls his fishing buddies saying that afternoon.
He spent the evening punching in coordinates for the his tournament fishing spots, and the next day, July 16, Diede was only 10 casts in before he caught the largest smallmouth bass in South Dakota history.
The fish weighed seven pounds and 4.7 ounces with a length of 20.75 inches, according to South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks. The previous record was set in April 2016 by Lyal Held on Horseshoe Lake in northeast South Dakota with a fish that weighed seven pounds and three ounces.
“I was like, ‘gosh, that is an…