19-Year-Old Largemouth Bass Caught in Montana, Released

KALISPELL - In 1992, a gallon of gas cost $1.05 and a new car to go with that fuel would set you back $17,000. It's also about the time the bass Garrett Frost caught in Montana came to be according to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Park's Biologist Mark Deleray, making it the oldest largemouth bass ever reported in Montana.

The 10-year-old Frost was fishing with his father Tyler and his two brothers in Rose Creek Slough when the young angler -- standing at the bow of their boat -- hooked a 20-inch, 3.5-pound bass using a plastic worm. After catching the fish (and announcing that it was a 5 pounder to everyone aboard) a small red floy tag was noticed that was numbered 5637. Frost pulled the tag, weighed and released the fish, and got back to fishing with his family.

Jon Cavigli keeps a database for the Montana FWP fisheries and after running the tag number, he discovered the last time the bass came up for a gulp of mountain air was October 3, 1997, when Phil Rivard caught and tagged the fish prior to releasing it back into Fennon Slough.

The fish at the time measured 14.2 inches and weighed 1.5 pounds. By using the age-growth database, Deleray estimates the fish was probably 5 years old when tagged, providing an age estimate of 19 years of age.

Largemouth bass in Montana don't grow to behemoth sizes like they do in other parts of the country -- the state record bucketmouth is 8.8 pounds. Lying at the northern edge of the species' range, the cool waters in Montana's lakes and rivers allow for slower growth and longer life.

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

Recommended for You


Get Ready for Summer with Cordova Coolers

May 23, 2019

Memorial Day sale offers 15 percent off everything website-wide.


MidwayUSA Pro Series Shooting Mat

G&F Staff

Shooters across the U.S. are using this competition shooting mat.


Find and Fish Bluegill Beds Efficiently

Terry Madewell - May 22, 2019

You can catch bluegill faster with these strategies.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Mustad's Saltwater Jig Lineup

Russ Whisler shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead the innovative features and great color schemes in Mustad's voluminous lineup of saltwater jigs introduced at ICAST 2019.

New Spinning Reel for Finesse Fishermen

As Pure Fishing's Andrew Upshaw explains, reel making giant Abu Garcia has done it again at ICAST 2019 with a new spinning reel geared towards finesse fishermen.

New Optimum and Optimum TS Downriggers from Canon

From rugged reliability to smooth integration of cutting edge technology across several different platforms, OSG's Lynn Burkhead learns that there's much to like about the new Optimum and Optimum TS downriggers from Canon.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories


How To Make Your Own Catfish Dough Bait

Keith Sutton - August 04, 2015

When it comes to fishing baits, you won't find a more unusual variety than the strange brews...

Other Freshwater

5 Great Lures For Bluegills

Stephen D. Carpenteri - March 10, 2011

Who needs live bait when the big 'gills are so eager to strike these lures?


Upon Further Review: 70-Year-Old Catfish Record Voided

G&F Online Staff - May 22, 2019

Experts agree record channel cat caught in 1949 was actually a blue catfish.

See More Stories

More Bass


Topwater Lures, Tactics for Summer Bass

Ronnie Garrison - June 24, 2019

Here's how you choose the best topwater baits and where, when and how to fish them.


How to Find Bass on Strange Water

Gary Lewis - July 01, 2019

Learn to tackle new lakes like MLF pros.


Chicago's Smallmouth Bass Hot Spot

Tim Holschlag - June 17, 2019

Want to get after smallmouth near the city? Hit the Kankakee River south of town.

See More Bass

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.