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12-year-old recounts state record-breaking catch at Noxon Reservoir

Wade Merschat caught a state record-breaking largescale sucker fish in the Noxon Reservoir, where he often fishes for trout and bass
12-year-old Wade Merschat
Posted at 4:33 AM, Jul 10, 2024

TROUT CREEK — We shared the news last week that a 12-year-old boy in Sanders County set a new state record for a largescale sucker fish caught in Montana.

Wade Merschat caught the record-breaking fish out of the Noxon Reservoir.

“I could tell it looked a lot smaller in the water and then when I pulled it up and got the first glimpse of it out of the water it looked very much bigger than I thought,” said Merschat.

Much bigger indeed, weighing close to seven pounds, and measuring more than 25 inches long.

Wade Merschat with Fish
Wade Merschat, who caught a record-breaking large scale sucker fish out of the Noxon Reservoir, shows his catch.

“I’m like this is going to be state record and there was no service where I was at, so it was kind of hard to see if it was a state record, but I thought it was going to be a lot smaller about 5½ pounds, maybe six, but it was closer to seven.”

Wade caught the record-breaking fish out of the Noxon Reservoir, where he often fishes for trout and bass. He used a nightcrawler to drag in the monster sucker fish.

“It didn’t really fight; it was trying to walk on its bed, and it caught on a couple sticks and I did not want to lose the fish,” added Merschat.

Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks (FWP) biologist verified the fish and issued a state record certificate to Wade on July 1.

Montana State Record Large Scale Sucker Fish
12-year-old Wade Merschat caught A new state record large scale sucker fish in the Noxon Reservoir on June 19, 2024.

Wade’s dad Josh said his son would fish all day if he could.

“I’m more proud that he’s out in the outdoors recreating, it seems to be lost with youth a lot in this generation, they’re obsessed with watching people do stuff on cellphones instead of being out outdoors,” said Josh.

Josh hopes Wade’s big catch encourages kids to get out and go fishing this summer.

“We’re blessed with having so much national forest and places, and forest access, it’s very easy for people especially in the northwest to go out and enjoy it.”

WATCH: 12-year-old Wade Merschat fishing at the Noxon Reservoir

12-year-old Wade Merschat fishing at the Noxon Reservoir

Wade hopes to become a professional fisherman when he grows up, in the meantime he has eyes set on another record.

“Yeah, I’m going to try and break the world record next time, I think it’s possible because I was only a ½ pound off of it, but I think I can do it.”