Catching a record-breaking fish is one thing, but having the good sense to keep the fish alive through the process to that it could be released back in the water is quite another. 

That’s what a young fisherman in Delaware and his mentor did when they caught a record breaking largemouth bass. The fish weighed 11 pounds, 1.6 ounches with a girth of 20.5 inches. 

AJ Klein, who caught this fish, along with fishing partner Joe Lattis of New Castle transported the hefty fish in a watertight container some 12 miles away where they had it weighed at a tackle shop in Lewes. They then returned to the lake in Wagamons where they released it.

“We encourage catch-and-release fishing in Delaware, especially with larger fish like this one,” said Fisheries Administrator John Clark according to a press release. “Not only will this fish be back out there for other anglers to enjoy, it should also see another spawning season to pass on its good genes to another generation of largemouth bass and thereby improve our bass stock.”

For tips on catching largemouth bass this time of year click here.

Photo credit: Delaware Department of Natural Resources