BOISE, Idaho — A North Idaho angler is the envy of his fishing buddies after he caught a record-breaking largemouth bass.

J.J. Schillinger, of Post Falls, broke Idaho's catch-and-release record while competing in the Panhandle Bass Anglers Fall Open tournament on October 19.

Schillinger hooked the 25-inch bass in Cave Lake, one of a dozen chain lakes along the Coeur d'Alene River, most of which are known for quality largemouth fishing.

The previous record of 23.75 inches was set by Dale Stratton at Sawyers Pond near Emmett in May 2017.

The fish was weighed during the tournament, and checked in at 9.7 pounds. According to Idaho Fish and Game, that puts it within striking distance of the official certified weight record largemouth bass of 10.9 pounds, caught in nearby Anderson Lake.

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