USA. 2 pending IGFA record smallmouth bass caught Print E-mail
Thursday, 10 June 2004
Yamaha’s David Simmons and Dave Lefebre both submit Pennsylvania records

Memorial weekend 2004 saw two International Game Fish Association (IGFA) state line-class records for Pennsylvania smallmouth bass potentially eclipsed in the 4-pound-test and 20-pound-test line categories. While fishing a bay off Lake Erie, David Simmons of Adairsville and Dave Lefebre of Erie, Pa., established two record smallmouth bass catches that are currently pending IGFA certification at 5 pounds, 1 ounce and 4 pounds, 6 ounces, respectively. Simmons, who works as Yamaha’s freshwater promotions coordinator, was fishing with Lefebre, a Wal-Mart FLW Tour pro angler.

“We had done our research through IGFA member materials and knew that two records were attainable in one weekend, and that was our mission,” Simmons said. “The 4-pound-test line category was currently set with a 2-pound, 6-ounce fish, and the 20-pound-test category was vacant. We actually caught many bass that would exceed the current IGFA marks, but according to Pennsylvania regulations at this time, the bass has to measure 20 inches in length, and only one per angler is allowed. Therefore, a really big one would be required to make the books.”

Simmons’ catch on May 30 was more like a three-round heavyweight prize fight. “I guess you could say I lost the first two rounds but ended up with the decision in the end,” Simmons said.
“On the first day that Lefebre caught his, I had two opportunities to land a record-size smallmouth. I was using 4-pound Ande Tournament monofilament, and the line never broke. The first time, however, I didn’t put enough pressure on the hookset, and that pig easily threw the hook on the first jump.”

After returning to the same area later in the day, a big fish bit and was played all the way to the boat, but it also escaped the hooks. “I was able to play that strong smallie for about 12 minutes on my new 2iG X-TREME dropshot rod. I kept it slightly loaded and backreeled the whole time,” Simmons said. “When Lefebre asked me if I wanted the net, I said, ‘No, let’s make it a fair fight,’ and that proved to be nearly fatal. I actually had my thumb in her mouth, but she managed to win!”

Later that night, the fishermen studied the video captured during the fights and regrouped. The next day, within the first two hours of fishing, a trophy smallmouth once again hooked up, and after a valiant battle, she ended up in their livewell. To help ensure the health of the fish and keep stress levels down, Lefebre had put Rejuvenade in the livewell. Rejuvenade is a treatment designed specifically to protect fish in such situations. The bass was soon on the road to the scales of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and was documented at 5 pounds, 1 ounce. As Simmons released his fish back into Lake Erie, he said, “The only thing better than catching a record is watching one swim away in good health.”

The day before, Lefebre’s catch in the 20-pound line category was an impressive 4-pound, 6-ounce smallmouth that established the first record. Both record fish came on plastic tube baits. Lefebre Texas-rigged his tube with a 3/8 -ounce Penetrater tungsten weight, and Simmons used a 1/16-ounce Slider jighead. While Lefebre was excited to be on the way to the record books, he did indicate the job was not done.

“There are some details you have to make sure of to be official with the IGFA,” Lefebre said. “Many Pennsylvania smallmouths have been caught that were larger than this but not submitted within regulations. The bar should be raised on this weight.”

Simmons jokingly concluded with, “I really hope Dave catches another giant, but I did tell him that he’d have a lot more luck using line heavier than 4-pound-test.”

Last Updated ( Thursday, 10 June 2004 )
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