March 21, 2006

The Barry Bonds of Bass

Rusty is taking far too much enjoyment from the fact that the new world record* largemouth bass has been caught--well-foul-hooked-- in California:

World record large mouth bass caught yesterday at Dixon Lake, in San Diego County by Mac Weakley. Yes, the world's biggest bass was caught in California. Take that Confederate Yankee. The fish weighed 25 lbs. 1 oz, breaking the previous record of 22 lbs. 4 ozs set by George W. Perry at Montgomery Lake in Georgia in 1932.

Unfortunately, this giant of a fish was "foul-hooked"--which means that it was hooked in a place other than in the mouth. In other words, Weakly's lure snagged the fish on accident. The IGFA rules, though, only disqualify the fish if it was intentionally fould-hooked [sic]. Regardless of its official position in the record books, this is the biggest bass ever caught.

George Perry's record largemouth was (and may still be) the longest running and most coveted of fishing records, but even if Mac Weakley's 25 pound 1 ounce is deemed the new world record* for largemouth bass, it will carry with it an asterisk like that of Barry Bonds.


Introduced in 1874 (or 1891, depending on the source) from Midwestern stock, largemouth bass in California are a non-native species. Largemouths from Florida, long considered the thoroughbreds of the species, were introduced in 1959 in an effort to boost the potential size of California bass, which began growing fat on a steady diet of stocked trout. It remains to be seen if BALCO was invlvoed.

A record? Maybe, but every bit as engineered as Barry Bonds.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at March 21, 2006 10:06 PM | TrackBack

Fellow fishermen and friends,
I cannot believe no one has said it! Are we looking past the obvious?? It is not a matter of whether this fish should count because of how it was taken. It is not even convincing evidence that this fish was world record size. No one has ever caught, netted, foul hooked or even shocked up a bass bigger than the world record. Let alone 25 pounds. The circumstances surrounding this catch leads me to believe that this bass was not only shy of 25 pounds, but shy of 221/4 also. Foul hooked or not.
Consider this....
In order for a bass to grow to this super size (25 pounds supposedly), it would mean that there were countless bass in this lake that were over 20 pounds. And they keep catching the same one? How magical. Mathimatically, the odds of this are mind-boggling.
I can tell you that there is millions of dollars to gain by saying that this fish is bigger then the record. Is it possible that he foul hook claim is just a smokescreen to getting the reward? Think about it, they had to claim a foul hook, to have a reason to let it go. This gives them a shot at the record book. They cannot claim it was the record and caught legitimately, or else they would have had to keep it for certification, and risk serious inspection of the fish, which would reveal the obvious... it was not the world record bass.
Not to mention... have you ever foul hooked a fish? I have... and when you do, even small ones feel like giants... In other words, you know if a fish is foul hooked before it gets into the net. Supposedly, they did not. There is no way this would be a "five minute" fight. And it is pretty coincidental to foul hook a 25 pound bass. The foul hook claim is excuse for not having the PROOF. The video of it on the scale is not proof. It is easy to film a fish being weighed with added weight in its belly or mouth. Measuring it on film or in photos would be proof... but I guess that just slipped their minds.
Also, If you guys are not familiar with this bass trio... Jed, Mac, and Mike are not amateurs. They fish practically EVERYDAY for the record. If anyone knows what qualifies for it... these guys do. They have all caught and documented huge fish before. They measure, certify, and photograph EVERY big bass. The world record bass is what they LIVE for. Every minute in their lives has been preparing them for the moment they get to see a bass over 22 lb. 4 oz. So, why were they in such a hurry to release it before anyone else could really see it? Don't forget, Jed had his 21 pounder at the docks for HOURS (Scale samples, photos, MEASUREMENTS, certification, etc.) for dozens of people to witness. There is no way that they would catch a bass that eclipsed the world record by almost three pounds and throw it back so fast. Too many people, including themselves would just want to SEE and admire a bass that big, foul hooked or not.
Here is a more likely scenario of what happened that morning...
One of them catches a bass around 19 or 20 pounds. Weary of years of futile efforts to catch the world record, they come up with a plan to claim this fish as the record. Stuff a weight in him, roll tape for a minute for a little evidence. However... they need an excuse to not have the fish for closer examination for fear of revealing the truth... so they come up with the foul hooked story. The claim of it being foul hooked just gives them reason to release it uncertified, leaving the possibility that it might LOOK like a 25 pounder. Then they can claim they released the world record because they thought it wouldn't count.
How convenient. Another world record released again... What a coincidence. They want the glory (and cash) without the proof.
This hoax is getting old. Paul Duclos did it in 1997. And Leah Trew did it two years ago.
Think about it... these boys fish for the record almost for a living. No doubt, they caught a big bass that morning, but my guess is it wasn't foul hooked and it wasn't the record. If they actually caught a bass THAT big (25 lbs), it would not go back in the water within minutes, uncertified, even if they caught it in a throw net.
There is a million dollars to gain from claiming that it was a foul hooked 25 pounder. My guess is it was a legitimately caught 19 or 20. If you know anything about big bass, then you know that every 19 or 20 pounder LOOKS 25 lbs. These boys are just counting on the IGFA to see it that way too. We're looking at another fish story boys. Don't be fooled into biting.
Julian Fritz

Posted by: julian at March 22, 2006 04:13 PM

I know these guys, I've seen them fish. They'd never do such a thing. Grow up and stop living your life as a conspiracy theory!

Posted by: jeff at March 22, 2006 06:42 PM