Smallmouth bass record broken for the third time in four years
For the third time in four years, an Oklahoma angler has broken the state record for smallmouth bass.
Steve McLarty now holds the record with an 8-pound, 3-ounce smallmouth bass he caught on March 4 on Lake Eufaula in east central Oklahoma.
McLarty, who lives in Broken Arrow, was competing in a Fishers of Men bass tournament when he hooked the big fish in a quiet, rocky cove.
“We actually pulled into the area on the way to another spot first thing in the morning. I was using a jerk bait and was hoping to catch a good smallmouth, but I certainly did not expect to catch one this big,” McLarty said.
The record fish measured 23.5 inches long and was 19 inches in girth. McLarty was using a G-Loomis rod and a Shimano reel spooled with 10-pound test line.
The previous record smallmouth holder was Karl Council, also of Broken Arrow, who caught an 8-pound, 1-ounce smallmouth bass in March of 2005 on W.R Holway Lake in northeastern Oklahoma.
While he may hold the bragging rights to the state record smallmouth, McLarty did not place in the top three of the tournament and the big fish award went to a 9-pound largemouth bass caught by another tournament angler.
“I heard the big largemouth was caught just about 100 yards away. That is just my luck to catch a state record smallmouth and not even win the big fish award. But I am certainly not complaining though, it is a real honor to catch a fish like this,” McLarty said.
Eufaula Lake, in east central Oklahoma, was first stocked with smallmouth bass in 1992 according to Garland Wright, central region fisheries supervisor for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. The lake was stocked with a reservoir-strain smallmouth bass that originated in Tennessee and Eufaula is now home to a self-sustaining population. The sprawling reservoir has a growing reputation as a first class smallmouth bass fishing destination.
In addition to Eufaula, Oklahoma is home to several outstanding smallmouth fisheries including Texoma, Skiatook, Lawtonka and Broken Bow lakes.
For a complete list of record fish and the procedures regarding certifying state record fish, consult the “2006 Oklahoma Fishing Guide.” If you think you may have hooked a record fish it is important that you weigh the fish on an Oklahoma State Department of Agriculture certified scale and the weight is verified by a Wildlife Department employee.
Caption: Steve McLarty now holds the record with an 8-pound, 3-ounce smallmouth bass he caught on March 4 on Lake Eufaula in east central Oklahoma. McLarty, who lives in Broken Arrow, was competing in a Fishers of Men bass tournament when he hooked the big fish in a quiet, rocky cove.