Fisheries biologists with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department are “astounded” by the state’s new largemouth bass record, nearly four pounds better than the previous mark.
Caleb Salzman’s 11.51-pound record largemouth bass — caught May 10 at Kleenburn Ponds near Sheridan — shattered Dustin Shorma’s record of 7.87 pounds.
Shorma, now a district game warden with the state, was on hand when Salzman took his catch to the Sheridan Game and Fish office on May 11 to have the fish officially certified, according to an agency news announcement.
Salzman, 18, a student at Sheridan College who said he aspires to become a game warden, said he caught the trophy on a green plastic worm after catching several smaller bass. “Nobody was more surprised than me,” he told Wyoming Game and Fish.
Biologists were astounded by the record, which also bests the records of many surrounding states. Paul Mavrakis, Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s fisheries supervisor in Sheridan, added in a news release: “The fish had to be incredibly savvy. I can’t imagine how many lures and baits she’s looked at over the years and wouldn’t be surprised if she broke an angler’s line a time or two, also.”
Also, the ponds have good lineage for large bass.
Adrian Avena Big Worms Big Fish
Shorma’s previous record was caught in northern Sheridan County ponds, too — on March 15, 1992, when he was 15. With Shorma on that trip was Gordon Edwards, now a fisheries biologist, and who also was on hand to see the record officially fall.
“Records are made to be broken and this fish did more than break my record, it crushed it!” Shorma said. “Who would know, that 26 years later, Gordon and I would find ourselves as the district game warden and fish biologist in the same place we grew up, only to pass the torch on to another worthy individual.”
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Pro Tip: Bass in the Grass