When a little kid lands a new state record fish, that's the best state record fish there is!

The previous record had been on the books for just over 14 years. And we're pretty sure Bette Schmieding wouldn't mind relinquishing her title to 8-year-old Garin Hicks, who now holds the new mark by the slimmest of margins.

Even lifelong Montanans, especially in western Montana, can likely be forgiven if they are not real familiar with the body of water and its location. Garin was fishing Gartside Reservoir, which is located on Highway 16, Just off Interstate 94, 1 mile north of Crane, Montana. Crane (population 102)  is ten miles south of Sidney and is located along the Yellowstone River. Garin lives in Kalispell, Montana. Given his home surroundings, he presumably is no stranger to fishing lakes and ponds.

Garin reeled in a green sunfish, a very pretty panfish popular with anglers. But this one wasn't ready for the pan just yet. Whatever adult supervision that was on hand with Garin must have wondered, "Hmmm-maybe. Just maybe."

So the fish was officially weighed at 13.6 ounces. Time to check the Montana FWP record book. And sure enough!

According to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Bette Schmieding's record was set on May 25, 2009. Her 13.44-ounce green sunfish was caught in Castle Rock Lake. Yeah. Old record: 13.44 ounces. New record: 13.6 ounces. You do the math.

Montana had a pretty good run on new state record fish being caught in 2021-22. Things have been a little quiet since, so good for Garin to shake things up! We can't even imagine how thrilled he must be.

Garin is scheduled to be interviewed live on this Saturday's (June 3) statewide hunting and fishing program, the Montana Outdoor Radio Show. The show airs from 6:00-8:00 a.m. every Saturday. To listen, check here for a radio station near you that carries the show.

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