NEWS

Gillette resident breaks state fishing record for freshwater drum

For the second time in as many months, a state record-breaking fish has been caught in the Sheridan region.

7/20/2018 6:53:59 AM

Cheyenne - For the second time in as many months, a state record-breaking fish has been caught in the Sheridan region. On July 15, 2018, Gillette resident James Potter Jr. caught a 22.58-pound freshwater drum in Keyhole Reservoir, breaking the existing state record by more than four pounds.

Potter and his father in law, Tom McCracken of Las Vegas, had been fishing for pike for only 20 minutes when the fish took Potter’s offering of frozen smelt.

“The fish took the bait and went on about a 60-yard run,” said Potter. “We weren’t sure what we had on the line. We eventually saw a flash of white and thought maybe it was a big walleye. But when it surfaced a bit and got closer to shore we finally saw it was a giant drum. We couldn’t believe it.”

Potter has caught drum before, in the two to three pound range, so knew the large fish was special. He looked up the state record and thought his might top 20 pounds. He soon saw game wardens Luke May and Derek White passing by on a patrol boat and flagged them down. The pair was able to get Potter started with the paperwork and certifying process.

“It was quite the moment when we put it on the scale and it printed out that ticket,” said Potter.  “I saw that 22 pounds and said ‘we just beat the record! We just blew it out of the water!’”
The previous freshwater drum record was set in August 2012 by Harley Speed. That fish also came from Keyhole Reservoir and weighed 17 pounds, 4 ounces. Prior to Speed’s catch, the record Wyoming drum was an 11-pound, 12-ounce fish caught in Glendo Reservoir in 1993.

“We don’t have them in a lot of places,” said Sheridan Fisheries Biologist Andrew Nikirk about drum. “They are not native to Wyoming but are an introduced sport fish. Anglers generally don’t target drum. They are usually incidental catches when anglers are ‘bottom bouncing’ for walleye with crawlers.

“They are good eating, but a lot of people don’t know that,” he continued. “The typical size of a drum we see at Keyhole is in the 12 to 18-inch range. And pound for pound they are one of the tougher fighting fishes, no doubt.”

Potter’s catch comes just weeks after Caleb Salzman caught a new state record largemouth bass on May 10 at Kleenburn Pond near Sheridan. Salzman’s catch, weighing 11.51 pounds, beat the previous state record, set in 1992, by more than four pounds.

Overall, this is the third species of state record fish caught this year in Wyoming. The other record broken in 2018 is for green sunfish by Chris Castleman at Bryan Stock Trail Pond in Casper.  

 

(Christina Schmidt (307-672-8003 ext. 235))

- WGFD -


Thanksgiving puts spotlight on Wyoming’s bright turkey history

It wasn’t until 1955 when hunters could harvest the historic wild turkey in Wyoming. Hunters’ interest has continued to gain momentum since.

Continue reading...






Game and Fish Commission invests in mule deer habitat and migration research

Commission also directs agency to draft new regulation for technologies

Continue reading...




CWD found in a new deer hunt area near Sundance

Game and Fish continues to notify hunters of new areas where CWD is found

Continue reading...




Hunters help manage herds through tooth aging program

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is asking select hunters statewide to donate teeth from their harvested mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk, moose, bison, mountain lions, black bears and bobcats. 

Continue reading...




2019 Wyoming Wildlife calendar available now

The 2019 Wyoming Wildlife calendar is hot off the press. 

Continue reading...




CWD found in a second new deer hunt area near Kaycee

Game and Fish continues to notify hunters of new areas where CWD is found

Continue reading...




Wyoming develops creative partnership to advance wetlands conservation

In an effort to conserve wetlands, three wildlife organizations came together to solve challenges. 

Continue reading...




Waterfowl hunters help with conservation and habitat when purchasing licenses and stamps

If you are packing for an upcoming waterfowl hunting trip, be sure you have all your licenses and stamps before heading out.

Continue reading...




New statewide sage grouse and sagebrush biologist named at Game and Fish

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department recently selected a new statewide sage grouse and sagebrush biologist.

Continue reading...




Email Newsletter

Email Newsletter Sign Up

Stay up to date on all Wyoming Game and Fish news either by email or text message. Click the link below to get started.

Sign Up Today

SHOP WYOMING GAME & FISH STORE   SHOP NOW!

Conserving Wildlife - Serving People