It’s a big summer for big fish

This seems to be the summer of the big fish. We’ve had three state records fall so far in 2018.

A student from Sheridan College reeled in the new state record largemouth bass on May 10, and last week, a Gillette man broke the record for a freshwater drum. Earlier in the year, the new record green sunfish was caught, as well.

The drum, caught July 15 at Keyhole Reservoir, was caught by James Potter Jr. Potter caught the drum on frozen smelt, and he thought it was a big walleye when the fish took the bait. After he landed the fish, he looked up the state record, and he thought he might have a contender. He flagged down game wardens Luke May and Derek White, who were passing by in a patrol boat, and the wardens started the paperwork and certification process.

When he saw the official weight of 22.58 pounds, Potter was overjoyed. The previous record, set by Harley Speed of Pine Haven, was 17.25 pounds. Speed also caught his whopper at Keyhole.

Back in May, Caleb Salzman set the new state record for largemouth bass with the 11.51-pound fish he caught at Kleenburn Pond near Sheridan. Salzman’s fish beat the previous record by more than four pounds.

The other record fish caught this year was a 1.25-pound green sunfish caught by 14-year-old Chris Castleman at Bryan Stock Trail Pond in Casper. It broke the previous record by six ounces.

Three record fish in one year isn’t the most ever caught in one year. In 2012, there were six record-breaking fish caught, including the freshwater drum that was beat by Potter’s catch this year.

But there’s still time. Get out and get a lure in the water. There are a bunch of records yet to break, but you can’t catch them from your couch.