This is a crazy catch. Most people call catching a state or world record fish a once-in-a-lifetime catch. But for one angler it’s apparently at least a twice-in-a-lifetime catch.
New York angler, Tom Russell, caught the smallmouth bass on the left in 2022 and it was certified as the New York state record smallmouth bass at 8 pounds, 5.8 ounces (full story here). Then on June 15, 2023, he caught what he believes to be the same smallmouth bass, which he believes weighed more than 9 pounds this go around.
Rather than put the fish the stress of being held in livewells and tanks and being handled multiple times to get the record he already has again, he quickly released the fish back into the water after a few photos. When asked why he did it, he joked he didn’t want to do all the phone calls and interviews again. Ha!
Kudos to Russell on catching the bigger version of his state record and putting the fish before the recognition.