New York State Record Smallmouth Bass

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NY state record smallmouth bass | courtesy Thomas Russell Jr.

A New York state record smallmouth bass was landed on June 15, when Thomas Russell Jr., of Albion when an eight-pound, six-ounce smallmouth bass from Cayuga Lake.

The record-setting smallmouth was landed on the opening day of the 2022 New York bass harvest season.

Russell’s bass surpassed the previous record by two ounces, a tie between fish caught on Lake Erie in 1995, and in the St. Lawrence River in 2016.

“Smallmouth bass are one of New York’s most popular freshwater sportfish and it’s exciting to share the great news of Mr. Russell’s record-breaking catch,” Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “New York’s Finger Lakes are truly an angler’s paradise, providing exceptional fishing opportunities for a variety of sportfish.”

Mr. Russell submitted details of his winning catch as part of DEC’s Angler Achievement Awards Program, which keeps track of state record fish. Through this program, anglers can enter freshwater fish that meet specific qualifying criteria and receive official recognition of their catch and an embroidered patch commemorating their achievement. The three categories that make up the program are: Catch and Release, Annual Award, and State Record.

Pound for pound, smallmouth bass are considered one of the hardest-fighting freshwater fish in New York. When hooked, they will often leap acrobatically out of the water, making them a highly desirable sportfish for anglers to target.

New York has a number of waters that consistently rank as some of the best bass angling destinations in the country. Smallmouth bass can be found throughout the state in cool lakes, rivers, and creeks.

For more information on smallmouth bass fishing in the state, visit the New York DEC website (

This is the second New York state record set this year. On May 8, the state record for channel catfish was broken when Bailey Williams of Watertown reeled in a 35-pound, 12-ounce channel catfish from the Black River in Jefferson County.

Related Information

Best New York Bass Fishing Destinations 2022