If you’ve wondered what 2020 was good for, the answer is fishing.
Eighteen anglers set new records this year, some of which were later broken by even bigger catches, according to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s website. Here’s a closer look at the fishermen who now have better tales to tell after this year’s successes:
Catch and Release Length Records for Game Fish
Brian Brooks of Boise caught and released a 16.2-inch Arctic Grayling while fishing at Alpine Creek Lake in the Sawtooth Mountains on July 4. His catch surpassed the previous record set in 2018 by more than 2 inches.
Rick Poedtke of Priest River caught a 16-inch Black Crappie at Blue Lake on May 14, setting a new record. But Jon Urban of Eagle went on to break it just two months later. Urban was able to get a 17-inch Black Crappie at Crane Creek Reservoir in July.
Bodi Rogers of Fruitland caught a 12-inch Bullhead Catfish at the Paddock Valley Reservoir on June 14, but that record was later broken by a young angler from Rathdrum. Austin Smith released a 13.5-inch Bullhead Catfish after catching it in the Upper Twin Lake on July 1.
Sawyer Livesey of Post Falls was able to get a 30.5-inch Bull Trout while fishing in the Kootenai River near Bonner’s Ferry on April 8. His catch beat the previous record of 29 inches set in 2019.
Two anglers set records for Channel Catfish this year. Scott Turner of Boise caught a 32-inch fish at the Snake River in Canyon County on May 16. Reed Monson of Meridian went on to break that record by catching a 33-inch fish at Lake Lowell on July 24.
Joseph Putnam Evans of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, caught a 19.7-inch Golden Trout at Pass Lake on July 20, surpassing the previous record set in 2017 by more than 3 inches.
Corey Comstock of Hayden set a record for catching a 24.5-inch Lake Whitefish while fishing at Lake Pend Oreille on May 11.
Brett Jones of Rock Springs, Wyoming, was able to set a new Rainbow Trout record on May 25. He caught a 31.25-inch fish at the American Falls Reservoir, defeating the old record of 30.5 inches set in 2018.
On May 2, Dustin Shepherd of Lewiston brought in a 22.75-inch Smallmouth Bass while fishing at Dworshak Reservoir. He narrowly beat the previous 22-inch record set in 2018.
Mark Randolph of Ahsahka was able to reel in a 21-inch Tiger Trout while fishing at Deer Creek Reservoir on May 9. Randolph’s new record surpassed the 2017 record by 4 inches.
Flyfisherman Tom Weadick of Coeur d’Alene was able to get a 21-inch Westlope Cutthroat Trout while fishing on the North Fork Coeur d’Alene River on June 19. The catch beat the previous 19.5-inch record set four years ago.
On Aug. 7, Sam Hix of Bellaire, Texas, hooked a 30.5-inch Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout while fishing in the Snake River in Bingham County. Hix also defeated a nearly four-year-old record of 28.5 inches.
Catch and Release Length Records for Non-game Fish
Dakota Miller of Melba broke the record for Northern Pikeminnow by catching a 24.75-inch fish on Jan. 12 while fishing at Lake Cascade. That’s an inch bigger than the previous record set in 2016.
Mike Nunemacher of Hayden was able to catch a large Tench at Coeur d’Alene Lake on May 31. The 19-inch fish broke the previous record of 18.7 set in 2018 at the same location.
Weight Record for Non-game Fish
Michael Jaggers of Middleton set a new Common Carp record for rod and reel fishing on Aug. 12 by catching a 19.72-pound fish on the Snake River below Brownlee Dam. The fish was 34-inches in length.