Although fishing partners Scott Somerfield and Greg Gasiciel had every intention of catching the biggest possible bass on Hubbard Lake in Michigan during the Bass Anglers of the Sunrise Side derby, they had no idea that they would be breaking the state smallmouth record which had been in place for over 100 years.
It happened on October 18, 2015, and Gasiciel was the lucky fisherman who found his green twister-tail grub grabbed by the enormous smallmouth bass. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources officially weighed the fish, which came in at 9 pounds, 5.28 ounces and 24 ½ inches long, and promptly announced that it was a new state record.
W.F. Shoemaker was the previous holder of the record which he set in 1906 at Long Lake which is not too far from Hubbard Lake. That fish was 9 pounds, 4 ounces and 27 ¼ inches long. Needless to say, Somerfield and Gasiciel won the tournament that day.
Greg Gasiciel shows off the new Michigan state record smallmouth bass, which he caught during a tournament on Hubbard Lake Oct. 18.
“Gasiciel’s fish was just massive,” says Kathrin Schrouder, the Michigan DNR fisheries biologist who examined the fish. “It was short and stout, and its tail was just so thick.
“I’m getting asked how old a bass of this size would be. It’s hard to say,” she adds. “Even aging the fish by scale-sampling it would not be real accurate. Besides that, it would ruin the mounting of this fish, which the angler intends on doing.”
Schrouder also added that had the fish not been a possible state record, Gasiciel, of Rhodes, Mich., planned to release it back into the lake once it had been weighed in the tournament. For a fish to be eligible as a state record in Michigan, however, a DNR fisheries biologist must examine it.
Schrouder also added that a bass of that size and age is well past its reproductive prime, and was probably in its last year or two of life.
While many Michigan anglers have felt the next state record – if not world record smallmouth –would be caught from one of the surrounding Great Lakes, many of the state’s inland lakes also have the type of environment to grow potentially huge smallmouths.
As 8,850-acre Hubbard Lake in Alcona County proved, record-breaking bass can come from anywhere that the conditions are right.
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