For the second consecutive year, tiny Cedar Lake in eastern Oklahoma has coughed up a state record largemouth bass.
On Wednesday, Dale Miller of Panama landed a largemouth bass that weighed 14 pounds, 13.7 ounces, from the lake in Le Flore County.
It breaks the old record set less than one year ago by Benny Williams Jr., of Poteau, who caught a 14-pound, 12.3-ounce largemouth at Cedar Lake on March 23.
The state largemouth bass record — considered the Holy Grail of state fishing records — has now been broken twice in less than a year after the old record of 14 pounds, 11 ounces had stood for 13 years.
William Cross of Broken Bow caught a state record largemouth from Broken Bow Lake in 1999.
Miller caught his record-breaking fish around 11:30 a.m. using a swim bait on an Alabama rig. He planned to release the fish back into the lake, but it didn't live.
Cedar Lake is a 78-acre lake in the Ouachita National Forest. It is popular for camping and horseback riding and has become a trophy bass destination.
Cedar Lake has produced several big bass in recent years. The lake receives the Florida strain of largemouth bass — which grow bigger and faster in warm climates — from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
“They grow pretty fast down in that part of the state due to the long growing season,” said Gene Gilliland, assistant chief of fisheries for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. “Cedar Lake has produced several double-digit fish in the last five years.”