Skip to main content

New York Fisherman Catches State Record Striped Bass

New York Fisherman Catches State Record Striped Bass

striped_bass_1As the saying goes, "Fish stories told here...some true!"

Eric Lester of Campbell Hall, N.Y., set a new state record for striped bass with his 60-pound, 53.4-inch catch on May 14. New York's Department of Energy and Conservation confirmed Lester's female striped bass as the new state record and estimated its age at roughly 20 years.

Lester's catch shattered the old state record of 55 pounds, 6 ounces, set in 2007, and is also the largest freshwater fish caught in New York since a 69-pound, 15-ounce Muskellunge in 1957.

But it's Lester's story of the catch that has anglers talking.


While fishing on the Hudson River near the Newburgh-Beacon bridge, Lester's 20-pound test line got a hit.


That's where his story gets real interesting.

"I knew it was a big fish. I didn't know how big it was," Lester said. "My reel comes disconnected from my rod, so I have the reel in one hand, the rod in the other. I'm able to secure it back on and I continue to fight it, then the fish gets wrapped up in the prop of my boat."

With equipment malfunctions and a situation quickly growing out of hand, Lester improvised to get his fish on board.

As Lester explained to CBS New York, "With this hand on the rod, I was able to stick my hand down inside of the gill of the fish, and hoist it up over the bow of the boat."




Overall, the monster striped bass put up a 15-minute fight before finally succumbing to Lester.

"It was incredible," he said. "Before that, the biggest fish I'd caught was five or six pounds!"

Lester's record even grabbed the attention of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who wrote on Instagram, "From one fisherman to another, congrats to Eric Lester on catching a record-breaking, 60-pound striped bass in the Hudson River!"

Recommended


While there is no denying that Lester is the new record holder — he has the fish to prove it, after all — there is some debate regarding his methods for landing the monster.

With no witnesses to confirm Lester's story, some have been quick to label this as just another "fish story."

Nevertheless, Lester will have a nice fish hanging on his wall by the end of the summer.

The saltwater record for striped bass in New York is a 76-pounder caught off Montauk in 1981.

Duo Realis Crankbait M65-8A

Length: 2 1/2 inches
Weight: 1/2 ounce
Depth: 8 feet
A highly detailed crankbait, the M65 confronts bass with a realistic baitfish appearance plus sound generated by a metal plate and steel ball. Available in two models and a variety of colors, this crankbait is effective in both stained and clear water. Price: $12.99

Sebile Action First Bull Crank

Length: 2 1/2 inches
Weight: 1/2 ounce
Depth: 4-7 feet
Patrick Sebile's Bull Crank is an excellent lure, especially at that low price point of $6.95. The Xternal weight system helps to keep a low center of gravity, dig deep, and stay on track, reducing the need to tune. It features a wide body to increase visual presence. Price: $6.95

Storm Arashi Silent Square Bill

Length: 2 1/8 inches
Weight: 1/2 ounce
Depth: 3 feet
The Square Bill's self-tuning line tie lets you burn it and still have it track straight. The circuit board lip provides strong vibration up the line and helps the lure deflect well in cover, especially downed trees. Price: $8.99

Gary Yamamoto Chikara

Length: 2 1/2 inches
Weight: 1/2 ounce
Depth: 2-4 feet
This popularly-priced, rattle-equipped crankbait is designed to be worked through heavy cover and still get the job done. The Chikara features internal 3D holographic foiling that provides flash and cannot be chipped. The lure's value is enhanced by Mustad Triple Grip treble hooks. Price: $7.99

Strike King KVD-1-5-Flat Side

Length: 2 ΒΌ inches
Weight: 3/8 ounce
Depth: 8-10 feet
This flat-side crankbait has a good thumping action and a tight wobble, and that means it's a great crankbait for cooler months or highly pressured lakes. Adding some weight to the hooks helps to cast the relatively light Flat Side on baitcasting gear, especially in windy situations. Price: $5.79

Rapala Scatter Rap Crank

Length: 2 inches
Weight: 5/16 ounce
Depth: 6-8 feet
On a medium or slow retrieve, the Rap Crank is amazing: it tracks straight, then pops laterally and juts back onto the original track, ready for the waiting strike. Price: $8.99

Spro Baby Fat John 50

Length: 2 inches
Weight: 3/8 ounce
Depth: 0-2 feet
Spro Baby Fat John 50 This smaller version of the established Fat John effectively imitates smaller forage, and works on spotted and smallmouth bass as well as largemouth. It runs shallow at any speed, and its fiberglass lip makes it kick out and 'hunt ' frequently before returning to true. Price: $12.03

Bass Pro Shops XPS Square Bill

Length: 2 1/2 inches
Weight: 3/8 ounce
Depth: 5 feet
It's a good-looking lure, and fine quality for a hard-to-beat price. The XPS rattle is subdued, which is nice for spooky bass. The oval split on the line tie helps it run straight and avoid line slipping between rings. Price: $4.29

Megabass Knuckle Jr

Length: 2.2 inches
Weight: 3/8 ounce
Depth: 1-3 feet
You'll be a megafan of Megabass lures because of their innovation and uncanny attention to detail. The Knuckle Jr.'s two-position adjustable bill really gives you two lures in one, making it easier to swallow the premium price. Price: $4.29

Livetarget Bait Ball Square Bill

Length: 2 3/8 inches
Weight: 1/2 ounce
Depth: 3-4 feet
The Bait Ball is a crankbait with realistic 3D baitfish bodies inside the main body. The smaller lures inside cleverly mimic a school of shad. This crankbait casts very well and has a tighter wobble than most square bills, making it a perfect crank for clear water. Price: $14.99

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

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Sometimes you have to fish a bait that allows you to cover a lot of water efficiently. When you're on the search for bass that have moved into deeper water off the bank and away from obvious holding spots, a swimbait can locate them.
Fishing

On the Search with Swimbaits

One of the best imitations of a wounded baitfish is the soft-plastic jerkbait, or fluke. A fluke darting just beneath the surface can be too much for a bass to resist. Rig it and fish it according to water conditions and cover to make this great bait even more effective.
Fishing

Fun with Flukes

There are three models in SPRO's Outsider crankbait series: 55 (runs 3-4 feet), 60 (7-9) and 80 (19-21). Professional bass angler Jonathan Kelley goes over the specifics at ICAST 2022 in Orlando.
Fishing

SPRO's New Outsider Crankbait Series: First Look

Professional bass angler Jonathan Kelley highlights the features of SPRO's new lures at ICAST 2022 in Orlando.
Gear

New Essential Series Spinnerbaits and Buzzbaits from SPRO

Syd Ribes with Sea Falcon highlights four new lures for saltwater fishing. At ICAST 2022 in Orlando.
Gear

New Lineup of Lures from Sea Falcon

Syd Ribes highlights two new saltwater lures from SPRO: Flutter Tail Shrimp and Cannon Ball Jig. At ICAST 2022 in Orlando.
Gear

New Saltwater Lures from SPRO

AFTCO's Matt Florentino highlights the features of the new Barricade cold-weather suit, a Best of Category winner at ICAST 2022 in Orlando. With Game & Fish's Adam Heggenstaller.
Gear

New from AFTCO: Barricade Cold Weather Tactical Gear

Three-time ICAST Best of Category winner Bubba covers it all with new knives set. With Bubba's Matt Kinamore and Game & Fish's  Adam Heggenstaller at ICAST 2022 in Orlando.
Gear

4-in-1 Bubba Multi Flex Cutlery Kit

The innovative landing net will weigh and measure your catch while it's still in the net. Best of Category winner at ICAST 2022. With Game & Fish's Adam Heggenstaller.
Gear

Award-Winning Frabill Witness Net 'Keeps You Honest'

Game & Fish Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

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

Get the top Game & Fish stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now