Tuesday, January 31st, 2023
Tuesday, January 31st, 2023

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Young Angler Catches CO Record Smallmouth Bass

Conner Peitsmeyer, 11, of Aurora, Colorado, probably won’t
remember the chill of the 35-degree air on the morning of Nov. 12.
What he will remember is catching the new Colorado state record
smallmouth bass.

Conner was fishing at Aurora Reservoir with his dad, Michael
Peitsmeyer, in the family’s fishing boat that Friday morning. A few
days before, Conner had landed his first ‘big fish’ in the same
area, a smallmouth that was more than five pounds. But nothing
prepared Conner for the 20 ¾- inch, 6-pound, 8-ounce monster he
would pull from the water that morning.

“We had caught quite a few big bass that week, so we knew they were
in there,” said Michael. “When he caught that first big one, Conner
told me he was shaking, but he wasn’t sure if it was from the cold
or from the excitement.”

Conner’s catch eclipses the previous state record smallmouth, a
21-inch, 5-pound, 12-ounce bass caught by Carl Dewey at Navajo
Reservoir in 1993.

The bass isn’t the only state record fish caught at Aurora
Reservoir this fall. On Oct. 4, 20-year-old Jessica Walton, landed
a 43-pound channel catfish at the reservoir east of Denver.

“Aurora Reservoir has ideal forage conditions to produce very large
fish,” said Paul Winkle, DOW aquatic biologist who manages the
fishery. “There’s an outstanding population of crayfish and yellow
perch, which provides an excellent food source for fish to grow to
enormous sizes.”

In the last decade, the DOW has stocked more than 135,000 fish
at Aurora Reservoir, including trout, bass, catfish, walleye and
wiper, helping to establish the 640-acre reservoir as one of the
state’s most popular fisheries.

The youngest of three brothers, Conner said he loves angling so
much that he had saved his birthday and Christmas money to buy his
own fishing gear – a medium to light St. Croix graphite rod and a
Shimano reel spooled with Berkley Trielene XL 6 pound test

The DOW issued Conner Peitsmeyer his Master Angler award
certificate and patch, and added the record smallmouth bass to the
Colorado State Fishing Records.

“Any time someone lands a new state record, it’s exciting for
us,” said Greg Gerlich, DOW fisheries chief. “It’s even more
exciting when it is a youngster that pulls in one of these big
fish. This is yet another example of how anyone, regardless of age
or experience, can have a great day fishing.”

The DOW tracks fish records by weight in 43 different species
categories. Potential record-holders must have a valid Colorado
fishing license or be under the age of 16. The fish in question
must be weighed on a state-certified scale, and a weight receipt
must be signed by a person who witnessed the weighing. The fish,
before being frozen, gutted or altered in any way, must be examined
and identified by a DOW biologist or wildlife manager before an
application is submitted.


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