State largemouth bass record broken by 1 pound

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The new record size largemouth bass was a handful for Andrew Klein. He returned the big bass to its home in Wagamons Pond after it was weighed. (Submitted photo)

We had the perfect spring winter weather for enjoying the outdoors this weekend. People were riding horseback on the beaches, looking for sea glass and other treasures. Fishing the surf has been slow but some folks tried anyway just to get out there.

The point in Cape Henlopen State Park will close as usual on Tuesday and reopen after Labor Day weekend. We hate seeing the point close; it is a great place to fish. No matter there is plenty of beach to enjoy in the parks.

Outdoors column logo FINAL by . I’m happy to report the beaches are looking better since Storm Jonas. DNREC has been pushing sand up from the surf line to rebuild dunes in areas of concern. Keep an eye on the high tide’s effect on beaches this week since we are coming out of the full-moon phase.

This weekend Saad Soliman and some friends did some tautog fishing aboard the Morning Star out of Ocean City, Maryland, with Captain Monty Hawkins.

Saad reports, “Tog out of (Ocean City) has been spotty lately. Monty on the Morning Star ran a group of 16 out deep and we fished for tog in 140 feet of water. Surface temp was 43 (degrees), bottom temp was 46. It’s a weird scratchy bite but there are quality fish coming up, I went top dog with a 9-pounder. There were about 25 to 30 keepers boated. White crab was the choice bait.”

Saad was the pool winner with his catch and he landed six keepers in 15 minutes.

A new state record

The big news this weekend was the Delaware state largemouth bass record was broken by 1 pound. Andrew Klein, of New Castle, was fishing Wagamons Pond in Milton with Joe Lattis.

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Joe Lattis and Andrew Klein of New Castle show off with the new Delaware state record largemouth bass. (Submitted photo)

“Joe has been my mentor bass fishing for a while now, and today he was captain and netter,” said Andrew. “When we left the ramp, we joked maybe we will land a 5-pounder. After we caught a few small bass, lost a nice bass, and landed a pound and a half yellow perch we headed back to the boat ramp.

“We were probably about a hundred yards away, when something slammed my Strike King Bleeding Shad white spinner bait on the drop. My rod bent in half and it felt like I had a rock on the end of the line. The fish immediately went toward the bottom and I had a fight on my hands.

“Joe jumped on the net and scooped the fish up once I got it to the boat. His eyes nearly popped out of his sockets when he saw the size of this fish. Once the bass was in the boat we both just sat there and looked at each other and said … did that just happen?

“We weighed the fish on a Mustad scale and it read 11 pounds, 12 ounces. Joe and I put the fish in the live well of the boat, Googled the closest shop with certified scales that was open, and headed to Bill’s Sport Shop on (Del.) route 1. Once we got there we weighed and measured the fish and called DNREC Fish and Wildlife. Bill Baker Sr. let us keep the fish in the bait tank at the store until Sgt. Troy Trimmer of Fish and Wildlife showed up to certify the record.

“I wanted to release the fish after we had it certified. She weighed in officially at 11 pounds and 10 ounces, beating the state record by a pound. Then we headed back to Wagamons pond and released the largemouth.“

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Saad Soliman, of New Castle, won his pool on the Morning Star with this tautog. (Submitted photo)

The previous record was held by James D. Hitchens at 10 pounds, 10 ounces in 2012. That largemouth also was caught and released at Wagamons pond.

“This is the biggest bass I have ever seen and certified.” said Sgt. Trimmer.

“I doubt anyone will break this record any time soon,” Joe said. “That fish was a beast.”

Andrew has a fish story that he will be telling his grandkids years from now.

Fishing has been great for other anglers, no huge records but the catches have been plentiful.

No delay this year

Citation sized crappies. Yellow perch have been difficult to find, and mostly males. Pickerel are hitting anything you throw out there, with regularity. Obviously the bass are biting, and the fact that state record was caught on a spinner bait has many bass anglers excited.

Maybe we will see an earlier warm up and the season will kick off sooner than last year when at this time we still had iced-over waterways, including the Delaware Bay. Trout season had to be delayed for two weeks due to ice on the ponds and the state not being able to stock trout. This year, trout season will start on time.

On land

Rabbit season ends Monday and Bill Dorey said he had a great season.

“I’m sorry to see it end but it has been a great season with some really good hunts.”

He’s looking forwarded to “starting a few puppies and giving some old dogs a break.”

Rich King’s column appears Thursdays in the Delaware State News.

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