Denver, Colorado - Conner Peitsmeyer, 11, of Aurora probably
won't remember the chill of the 35-degree air on the morning of Nov.
12. What he will remember for a long time 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 20¾ inch, 6-pound, 8-ounce monster he would
pull from the water that morning. (continued below)
"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
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 line.
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.
Check out the other
Colorado Fishing Records