South Dakota Large and Smallmouth Bass State Records Both Broken This Summer

A boy holding a fish

I’m going to have to look this up come December, but 2021 might set a new record for the highest number of state record fish caught throughout a single calendar year.

So far in 2021, world records have been set for several species in the U.S., including a Bullhead Catfish in Louisiana, a Sunfish in Arizona, a Meanmouth Bass in Texas, and a Tiger Trout in Washington.

In addition to those new world records, state record fish have been caught all around America as well, including Blue Catfish in Texas and North Carolina, a Swordfish in Mississippi, a Paddlefish in Oklahoma, a Skipjack and a Muskie in West Virginia, a Lake Trout in Illinoisand a Fallfish Minnow in Virginia

There have amazingly been 6 new state record fish caught in Missouri so far in 2021, including a Carpsucker, Longnose Gar, Spotted Gar, White Sucker, Yellow Perch, and Sunfish.

Of the 7 new state records caught in Montana over the last 9 months, several of them were caught within the 2021 calendar year including a Largemouth Bass, Walleye, Longnose Sucker, and Brown Trout.

Time to add both a new state record Smallmouth Bass and a new state record Largemouth Bass from South Dakota to the list of this year’s record breakers.

The South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks just recently announced on July 16th that a record smallmouth bass had been caught, confirmed, and released back into Lake Oahe.

“NEW STATE RECORD ALERT! Fisheries biologists just verified a new State record smallmouth caught and released on Lake Oahe today.

This giant is 7-pounds 4-ounces,  20.75-inches long, and has a 19.25-inch girth.

Congrats to angler Troy Diede of Sioux Falls!”

Troy Diede of Sioux Falls caught the fish, which tipped the scales at just a shade under 7 and a half pounds. The fish measured over twenty inches long and almost 20 inches around.

The state of South Dakota’s fishing records are categorized by methods, and include hook and line records, bow-fishing records and unrestricted records (which means any other legal means other than hook and line or bow-fishing, like catfish noodling for example).

The recent record breaking smallmouth is not the only state record bass that was caught on hooks and lines in The Mount Rushmore State this year though.

On Memorial Day weekend, an 11-year-old girl was fishing with her father when she hooked the now pending state record Largemouth Bass.

“The summer got started in a big way for one Sioux Falls family.

The Chau family went fishing at 81 Ponds near Arlington when they pulled in a huge largemouth bass.”

Kaytlin Chau was fishing alongside her dad and brother in Arlington, South Dakota when she felt a huge bite on the end of her line. She told her story to Keloland News and explained that she called out for her dad and said she had hooked into a really big fish and needed help.

“We went fishing because it’s summertime and we wanted to have a little fun. As I reeled in, I felt a giant, big ole bite on the end of my line.

And my dad comes running over with a net and we just pull out this big ol’ largemouth bass.

It was super heavy.” 

Kaytlin added that even though she was thrilled to be the one who caught the fish, her dad might have been even more excited than she was.

“He told me he’s never caught a fish that big in his whole life.

I just like how much fun it is to reel in a giant fish or a small fish.”

While hauling in little fish might be fun too, the giant fish she caught was 20 inches long and unofficially weighed in at 10-pounds, 2-ounces. That is roughly 13 ounces more than the previous South Dakota record for a largemouth bass, which weighed 9-pounds, 5-ounces.

Kaytlin and her father finalized paperwork to register the record breaking fish and are awaiting verification from the state.

Geno Adams, the Fisheries Program Administrator for the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department says fishing activity understandably picks up during the summer months, so that’s when people have the best chance of catching a really big one.

“In general, when fishing activity peaks in June and July that’s when we see a majority of our state record requests come in. 

Anyone who catches a fish they think would be considered as a state record needs to have the fish weighed on a certified scale — most grocery stores and meat lockers have them.”

If you plan on hitting the water in South Dakota, be sure you purchase a fishing license.

The sale of fishing licenses directly funds the protection and enhancement of public boat ramps, aquatic environments, and fish populations in all 50 states.

It also protects you from being fined, having your gear confiscated, and potentially losing your fishing privileges. It’s important to remember that just because you have a fishing license in one state, that does not mean it is valid in another state.

And as always, please fish responsibly and leave the whiskey at the dock.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock