A Montana angler broke a nearly 4-year-old state record when he reeled in a smallmouth bass that weighed 7.8 pounds.

Theron Thompson said he was fishing in the Fort Peck Reservoir with his father, Jim Thompson, and a friend, Nate Peressini, when he reeled in a smallmouth bass that seemed impressive when he weighed it on Peressini's scale, but none of the men had good enough cellphone service on the water to look up the state record.

Thompson said it wasn't until hours later, when they were back on dry land, that he discovered the state record was 7.51 pounds.

"It was instantly, 'What should we do to get this confirmed and verified,'" Peressini told the Billings Gazette.

The men said it took multiple phone calls to reach a Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks warden, who agreed to meet them at Miles City Reynolds Market, where there was an official scale.

The smallmouth bass weighed 7.8 pounds and was declared a new state record.