12 1/2-pounder breaks Washington state record


Photo courtesy of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Bill Evans of Bothell, Wash., caught this 12.53-pounder in Lake Bosworth, breaking Washington's largemouth record that had stood for 39 years.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has confirmed that a Snohomish County angler has set a new state record for the biggest largemouth bass caught in state waters.

Bill Evans of Bothell caught the monster bass Aug. 8 in Lake Bosworth in Snohomish County while fishing with a Strike King 5-inch Shim-E-Stick, wacky-rigged on a 1/0 hook. It weighed 12.53 pounds and measured 23 inches long with a girth of 22 1/2 inches.

The previous record was set by Carl Pruitt in 1977 at Banks Lake with a fish weighing 11.57 pounds, nearly 1 pound less.

“As soon as I set the hook, I knew it had to be a big one because the bottom pulled hard and it just wouldn’t quit,” Evans said. “When she finally tried to jump, she could only get her head out of the water.”

Evans realized how big the fish really was when he started lifting it into the boat.

“She just kept getting heavier and heavier,” he said. “I put her in the livewell, but she didn’t even fit — her tail stuck out.”

Evans is a seasoned bass angler with nearly 40 years of experience. He moved to Washington a few years ago, and just started bass fishing in the state this summer. Evans has fished several lakes in the Bothell area, but the day he set the record was his first time fishing at Lake Bosworth.

He found the small lake on WDFW’s Fish Washington feature, which provides access to fishing advice and videos, as well as information by county and fish species location for lowland lakes, high lakes and marine areas.