You might be thinking, “It’s pretty hard to beat the record-breaking 2020 fish string,” but then on the 2021 rides like the New York Yankees ’27. This year, anglers from across the country flocked to Idaho’s many fisheries and set incredible new state records, from carp to cutthroat trout.
In total, 2021 had 18 new state records, including 6 certified weight records, and 12 new catch and release records. The following angler trophy stories, from Priest Lake to American Falls and everywhere in between, make the cut this year.
A bunch of carp
Not too long ago, Meridian’s Cris Endicott landed a massive 46.7-pound Snake River Grass Carp on October 10. The grass carp was 50 inches long and set a new certified weight status record for the species. As of 2016, records for carp have been kept separately for both angler / reel and archery anglers, and this fish has surpassed the current archery record of 39.5 pounds set by Saige Wilkerson in 2012.
Record of cutthroat trout tip scales (and boat) in Priest Lake
At this time of year, Priest Lake is more suited to ice skating than boating. But in May 2021, Spokane angler Madison Nackos set a new catch and release record for a Westslope cutthroat trout that tipped the scales and the boat. Arriving at an impressive 24 inches, the Westlope cutty broke the record previously held by 21 inches in 2020 by Tom Weadick.
Westslope Cutthroat Trout is native to Idaho and can be found in lakes and streams in the Panhandle region of Idaho and in the Clearwater and Salmon river systems of central Idaho.
Everything is just perched
Cascade Lake is famous for its “giant” yellow perch, so much so that it even attracts anglers from as far away as Wisconsin. Mosinee, Wis., Native of Adam Mann made the trip in search of an ice fishing trophy in March 2021. During that trip, Mann set a new certified weight record, weighing 3.22 pounds, roughly the weight of a bag of apples.
“It was amazing, I’ve never seen anything like it,” Mann said. Her record surpassed Skye Coulter’s previously impressive record of 2.96 pounds set in 2016.
A fierce showdown
Eagle’s Jon Urban is no stranger to catch-and-release record books. Urban has already set the record for catching and releasing Lahontan cutthroat trout, but the title was withdrawn earlier this year by Stephen Veals in March. Just two months later, Jon Urban was back atop the rankings, this time with an even larger Lahontan cutthroat trout – 18.5 inches long – while fishing on the Grasmere Reservoir.
Important Note: Anglers looking to set a catch and release record should be prepared with a tape measure and camera. Remember that the catch and release records must be broken by at least ½ inch to qualify.
Community pond trophy
Most local ponds aren’t known for their trophy fish, but Joe Brandes made us reconsider that notion. In July, this lucky fisherman from Boise landed an impressive white crappie while fishing at Sawyers Pond near Emmett. As Brandes let go of the 15¼ inch white crappie, he won a new state record of capture and release.
Not too common
It’s not every day that a fisherman pulls a 37½-pound Common Carp from the depths of the American Falls Reservoir, but on July 14 this year, that’s exactly what angler Kaden Hammer did. Hammer’s catch earned him the common carp catch and release state record.
In March, Snake River angler Kyle Stevens slaughtered a massive 3.4-pound goldfish with a bow, earning him a certified weight record for the species in archery. .
Real-time recording verification
Catch and release records will no longer be printed in Idaho fishing seasons and regulations brochures. Instead, the online rulebook will be accessible via a QR code that people can scan (in the brochure) with their cellphones which will direct them to Fish and Game’s updated records board. As anglers break records left and right, Fish and Game staff strive to keep state record information accessible and up to date.