Record smallmouth bass reeled from Lake Erie; ‘I was trembling’

An Ohio angler has caught the largest smallmouth bass ever reeled from Lake Erie and the Great Lakes.

Gregg Gallagher, 54, a high-school business teacher in Fremont, caught the 10.15-pound bass Nov. 6 while fishing with his 24-year-old son, Grant.

The previous record was the catch of a 9.5-pound smallmouth by renowned bass angler Randy VanDam in 1993.

VanDam will still hold the Ohio record; Gallagher’s heavier catch is the largest in Ontario waters and throughout the Great Lakes.

Photo courtesy of Gregg Gallagher

Gallagher, 56, told Cleveland.com that he had dropped his lure toward bottom structure when the smallmouth struck.

“On that cast, the fish hit even before the lure reached the bottom,” he said. “When I felt the light bite I set the hook. I knew immediately that it was a big fish, but at first I thought it was a really large sheepshead.”

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After they realized it was a prized smallmouth, and as Grant netted the fish, both Gallaghers were beside themselves with excitement.

“I was just trembling, and still feel goose bumps when I think about that bass,” Gallagher said.

Photo courtesy of Gregg Gallagher

Gregg Gallagher credited Grant’s knowledge of the fishery and use of electronic equipment for putting him on the record fish.

A mount of the catch will be placed on display at the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s Fisheries Research Station, according to Cleveland.com. A replica will go on display at Gallagher’s home.

For comparison, the all-tackle world record for smallmouth bass stands at 11 pounds, 15 ounces. That fish was caught by David Hayes at Tennessee’s Dale Hollow Lake in 1955.

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Story originally appeared on For The Win