UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - James River

TBF Angler Catches N.Y. Record Smallmouth

TBF Angler Catches N.Y. Record Smallmouth
Patrick Hildenbrand

On Aug. 28, Patrick Hildenbrand of Red Hook, N.Y., caught an 8-pound, 4-ounce smallmouth bass out of the St. Lawrence River during a New York The Bass Federation (NYTBF) tournament. The giant smallie ties the previous record fish caught by Andrew Kartesz in 1995.

The morning of the event, Hildenbrand planned on heading to Lake Ontario from the Cape Vincent takeoff but called an audible due to strong winds that were forecast for the afternoon. He instead ran about nine miles up the St. Lawrence River and began fan-casting an area with scattered rock in 35 feet of water. When he noticed a large arc on his graph, Hildenbrand marked it with a waypoint and drifted back so he could cast to the spot.

Patrick Hildenbrand

Hildenbrand’s first toss with a Berkley PowerBait Dropshot Power Bass Minnow in a goby color on a drop-shot rig consisting of a 1/0 Gamakatsu TGW drop-shot hook with a 3/8-ounce Eco PRO Tungsten Drop Shot weight enticed the record fish to bite.  

Wrangling it with 6-pound-test Sunline Flourocarbon tied to 15-pound-test Gamma braid on a Team Lew’s Pro Speed Spin reel and 7-foot, medium-light Dobyns Fury Series FR 702SF Dropshot rod, Hildenbrand was able to land his first fish of the day. He knew the fish was big but didn’t think twice about it before adding it to the livewell. About 20 casts later at the same spot he added a 5-pound fish to his catch.

Hildenbrand managed to bring four fish to the scale at the end of the day that weighed just under 18 pounds, which was good enough for second place. Yet it was the big-bellied smallmouth that captured the crowd’s attention.

Measurements were taken to ensure verification of the state record. The fish was 21 1/2 inches long with a 20 3/4-inch girth. The scale was sent in for recertification, and Hildenbrand’s bass was declared a tie with the existing record fish.

When Hildenbrand saw that the fish still had much fight left in it, he showed it off for a brief photo session and then released it back into the river.

Patrick Hildenbrand

Tags: chris-burgan  article 

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