The new South Dakota smallmouth bass record.
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Troy Diede was practicing for a bass tournament Thursday, July 15 on sprawling 370,000-acre Lake Oahe, located south of Bismarck. The 36-year old angler was only fishing for 20 minutes when he hooked a monster bass, a 6.39-pound smallmouth, reports the Sioux Falls Argus Leader newspaper. At the time it was the heaviest bronzeback Diede had ever landed, and was only a pound shy of the current South Dakota state-record smallmouth.

“That could be the biggest smallmouth you’ll catch in your entire life,” Diede’s fishing pals told him.

But that 6-pound bass was only a tune-up for what was to follow for Diede on Friday, July 16.

After carefully logging-in GPS hot spots where he’d caught bass Thursday, Diede was ready for another go on Lake Oahe Friday, July 16.

That morning, on only his 10th cast, Diede hooked another heavy bass, this one destined to be the biggest smallmouth ever caught in South Dakota. He soon boated the bright-green fish with a deep, thick body and dark stripes along its flanks. Diede weighed the bass on a hand scale.

“I was like, ‘gosh, that is an absolute tank’,” he remembers thinking.

Diede put the fish in his bass boat’s aerated livewell, and went to the bait shop at South Whitlock Resort located near Lake Oahe. The fish was officially weighed, measured, and certified by a South Dakota Fish department biologist. Then it was released back into Oahe, the department reports.

At 7-pounds, 4.7 ounces and 20.75-inches long, Diede’s bass is the new state-record for smallmouth.

It beats the previous record of 7-pounds, 3-ounces set in April 2016 by Lyal Held on Horseshoe Lake in northeast South Dakota.

“I was in shock,” Diede told the Argus Leader. “I would’ve never guessed that it would’ve been me. I’m super blessed to have a catch like that.”