CAYUGA LAKE, N.Y. (WETM) — The NYS record for the largest smallmouth bass was broken after an Albion fisherman hauled in an 8.6-pound monster from Cayuga Lake, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

The DEC made the announcement today after Thomas Russell Jr. of Albion, N.Y. reeled in the eight-pound, six-ounce smallmouth bass using a Berkley Maxscent Minnow as his lure. The fish was caught in Seneca County on June 15, the opening day for bass harvest season.

The catch surpassed the previous record-holder by two ounces, a tie between fish caught on Lake Erie in 1995, and the St. Lawrence River in 2016.

This is the second state record set this year. A state record channel catfish was caught on May 8 when Bailey Williams of Watertown reeled in a 35-pound, 12-ounce channel catfish from the Black River in Jefferson County.

Russel submitted details of his winning catch to the DEC’s Angler Achievement Awards page. Anglers that meet the qualifying criteria receive official recognition of their catch and an embroidered patch commemorating their achievement. For more detail on the program, you can visit the DEC’s website at

A full list of state record-holders can also be found on the DEC’s website at