SCAMMON — A Kansas teen has caught a record-setting 11.8-pound largemouth bass in a private pit in Cherokee County, bringing to four the number of state records taken from pits in southeast Kansas.
Officials from the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks said the previous record for largemouth bass was 11.75 pounds and stood for 31 years.
The state on Friday presented 14-year-old Tyson Hallam, of Scammon, with a certificate recognizing his record.
Hallam caught the 28.5-inch fish on a rod-and-reel using a jig-and-pig in early May and was weighed and certified by wildlife officials. Hallam kept the fish and said he plans to have it mounted.
"I knew it was big, but I didn't really think it was a state record," Hallam said Friday.
The Mined Land Wildlife Area is 15,000 acres of former coal mining land with strip pits in Cherokee, Crawford and Labette counties.
"The bulk of it is in Cherokee County," said David Jenkins, assistant manager with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. "It is 9,000-and-some-odd acres of public ground in Cherokee County."
"My dad's friend caught an 11.3-pound largemouth out of a pit north of Weir," Hallam said.
The Kansas record channel cat, at 36.5 pounds and 38 inches long, was caught in the Mined Land Wildlife Area in Cherokee County in 2003 by Rick Barnow of Humboldt.