April is too early to fish a topwater lure at night in Rhode Island. Right?

A pending Rhode Island state record largemouth says otherwise. The huge bass, which, once certified, will break a record that has been in place for 25 years, hit a 3 1/2- inch Black Jointed Jitterbug on the night of April 30. And it wasn’t the first big Jitterbug bass of the night for Brandon Migliore, who caught it, and his longtime fishing buddy Matt Sheldon. In fact, Sheldon caught an 8-pound-plus fish on the first cast of the night, and the duo also landed small bass and a 6-pounder before the giant fish hit.

Migliore’s fish weighed 11 pounds, 3.2 ounces and was 22 1/2 inches long. The existing record weighed 10-pounds, 6 ounces. It was a long night of nervous wondering for Migliore because an old scale he and Sheldon had with them only showed the fish to weigh 10 pounds, 5 ounces.

“That night, thinking we might have just missed it, was almost too much to handle,” Migliore said.

A second scale brought out by a friend showed a weight of 11 pounds, which was reassuring, but it wasn’t until certified scales arrived at Sandy Bottom Bait & Tackle the following day that Migliore finally learned for certain that the fish outweighed the existing record.

Migliore and Sheldon have been fishing together since high school and were specifically targeting a state-record largemouth bass when Migliore caught the big fish. Sheldon and his family have a long history of using big Jitterbugs after the sun goes down to catch overgrown largemouths. Migliore and Sheldon were confident they were doing the right thing in the right time and place to give themselves and opportunity to catch a record bass.

Congratulations to both anglers on a plan well thought through and executed.