Montana Fisherman Claims New State Record for Longnose Sucker After Only 2 Months

by Josh Lanier
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They say there’s sucker a born every minute, and at the rate, Montana anglers keep hauling in record longnose suckers, we can believe it.

Austin Wargo reeled in the most recent, record-breaking longnose sucker, the Helena Independent Record reported. He and a friend were having a fairly boring day on the water until they decided to try their luck in a different spot of Holter Reservoir. Wargo felt a tug on his line soon after.

“It felt like a walleye at first, just kind of had that slow doggy feeling, not like a trout,” he said.

It may have had that doggy feeling because it was the size of a medium-sized dachshund. Wargo reeled in a 19 1/2 inch-long longnose sucker that weighed 4.21 pounds.

Sometimes these records will stand for years or decades, but not in this case. That’s because Wargo bested a record set only two months ago. Jacob Bernhardt from Great Falls pulled in a 3.42 pounds, 20.1-inch sucker on March 26, the Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Park Department said.

That’s less than two months ago. Bernhardt’s fish has hardly had time to spoil, and his name is being removed from the record books. To heap on more insults, Wargo pulled in his record-breaking sucker in the same location as Bernhardt, the MFWP said.

The previous record-holder was Ray Quigley, who caught his 3.27-pound recordbreaker in Marias River Loma back in 1988, according to the Independent Record. For those of you keeping score at home that’s 34 years ago.

Wargo said he plans to have the red-striped fish mounted to show it off.

“That’s what everybody says, that for a sucker, it’s a really beautiful fish,” he said.

Meanwhile, Barnhardt didn’t comment in the story.

Montana Seeing Spike in Record-Breaking Fish

The sucker isn’t the only record fish from Montana making national news.

Robbie Dockter caught a fish that might as well be a small sedan. The brown trout weighed 32.42 pounds and measured 37 inches long earlier this month. You can see the fish here.

“I’ve fished this stretch a lot on it’s a very good fishery and some very big trout,” Dockter told the paper. “I was thinking I’d finally gotten a brown over 10 pounds, but then she rolled in my headlamp and we realized this thing is next-level big.”

E.H. Peck Bacon set the previous record in 1966 with a 29-pound brown caught in Wade Lake.

Montana has also had records broken for Chinook salmon, walleye, yellow bullhead, and smallmouth bass recently, the paper said. In fact, this is the eighth record set since August of last year.

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