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One for the record books as West Bend boy hooks monster rock bass

West Bend, Wi – An 11-year-old West Bend boy is awaiting word from the Department of Natural Resources to see if he will hold the new state record for the largest catch-and-release rock bass in Wisconsin history.

Jony Rodman was fishing was with his family and friends on a pontoon boat this week when he dropped his line in the water. “No bobber,” he said. “Just a hook and a worm.”


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The tousled red head with adorable freckles and a never-quit smile had been on the water about an hour. “It was about 7:50 p.m. and we had been catching bluegills,” he said.

His friend August pulled in a bluegill, same for his friend Logan. It was their normal fishing spot he said, “since I was young.”

Rodman’s mom Tiffany may have set the tone for the next bite. “I encouraged the boys to catch something bigger so we would have to use the net,” she said.

The water was about 3-feet deep and Rodman felt a tug. “I thought…. this feels biggish,” he said. “I really didn’t think it was huge… but it was big for that kind of fish.”

Click HERE to see catch-and-release records in Wisconsin

There was some kid excitement as screams of “fish on, fish on” echoed across the lake.

His rod arched and the fish fought a bit, Tiffany swooped in with the net, Rodman landed his catch, and his friends were in awe.

“They were commenting on how big it was,” said Rodman.

There was some relishing in the moment, but there was still daylight left and more fish to catch. Rodman tossed it in the live well for a future meal.

“It was about 20 minutes before one of his friends asked, “What do you think the state record is,” said Dad Aron. “Good thing we looked it up.”


The standing record since May 2023 was 11.5 inches.

Using a yellow tape measure, they sized up his fish, from head to tail. “It was 12.5; I was like OH WOW,” said Jony.

Several more measurements took place… just to be certain.

Aron came home and filled out the DNR form online to register the fish and now they wait to see if a West Bend boy will hold the new state record.



Wendy Wendorf


  1. Congratulations Jony !!!! Your father should be very proud of this great achievement you’ve made. I certainly am. Keep up the good work young man.
    -Long time Wisco Fisherman

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