Indiana could soon have a new state record for smallmouth bass after angler Rex Remington surprised the Hoosier State fishing community by reeling in an 8-pounder that tops the longstanding record by nearly a pound. 

Remington caught the smallmouth on March 3 at Monroe Lake, a 10,000-acre reservoir near Bloomington. To say Monroe isn’t normally known as a smally haven would be an understatement: The Indiana Department of Natural Resources’ master plan for the lake doesn’t even mention smallmouth bass among the water body’s fauna, and local anglers seemed surprised. 

“Least expected place this record would have even been thought possible but a beautiful specimen all the same!” commented Yeagley Fishing on Facebook. “Makes you wonder what else might be down there…” 

Remington’s catch was reported to weigh 8.23 pounds on a certified scale and was witnessed by IDNR officials, according to multiple posts on social media. If that weight checks out, the fish will shatter the state record set in 1992 by Dana Yoder, who caught a smallmouth weighing 7.25 pounds from Twin Lake in LaGrange County. As one poster commented, “If this is official, Rex will probably hold this record for a long time. Good job.” 

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Officials at the Indiana DNR were unable to comment on the catch beyond saying that the certification process for the state’s Record Fish Program could be completed within a week.