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Records are made to be broken. And sometimes tied!
Most anglers thought the next big largemouth bass to challenge George
Perry’s long standing record would come from the likes of a lake in
California. Others were betting on Florida while more than a few backlash
Bozos claimed they’d already hooked it while fishing hidden lakes in
Mexico and Castro’s Cuba.
Turns out they could be both right and wrong. Earlier this week word hit
the tackle world that a lunker taken back in the summer in Japan---yes
Japan where the people are small but the bass are big---was officially
certified as matching the hefty weight from George Perry’s record catch
After nearly six months of waiting, Japan’s Manabu Kurita is taking his
place along side Georgia, USA angler George Perry in the International
Game Fish Association’s (IGFA) World Record Games Fishes book as dual
holders of the All-Tackle record for largemouth bass each weighing 22 lb 4
oz and caught 77 years apart.
IGFA approved Kurita’s application for the fish caught from Japan’s
largest lake on July 2, 2009. The 70-year old non-profit fisheries
conservation, education and record-keeping body, received Kurita’s
application and documentation on Sept. 19, 2009. The largemouth bass (Micropterus
salmoides), was caught from Lake Biwa which is an ancient reservoir
northeast of Kyoto.
Kurita, 32, of Aichi, Japan, was fishing Biwa that July day using a Deps
Sidewinder rod and a Shimano Antares DC7LV reel loaded with 25 lb Toray
line when he pitched his bait, a live bluegill, next to a bridge piling.
It was Kurita’s first cast to the piling where he had seen a big bass
swimming. He only twitched the bait a couple of times before he got bit.
After a short, three minute fight he had the fish in the boat.
Kurita’s fish ties the current record held for over 77 years by Perry who
caught his bass on Georgia’s Montgomery Lake, June 2, 1932, near
Jacksonville, Georgia. That 22 lb 4 oz behemoth won Field and Stream
Magazine’s big fish contest and 46 years later, when the IGFA took over
freshwater records from Field and Stream, it became the All-Tackle record
now one of over 1,100 fresh and saltwater species the IGFA monitors.
In North America the largemouth bass, and especially the All-Tackle
record, is considered by millions of anglers as the “holy grail” of
freshwater fish because of its popularity and the longevity of Perry’s
record. That fish undoubtedly helped to spawn a billion dollar industry
that today makes up a significant part of the sport of recreational
Steve McCadams is a professional hunting and fishing guide here in the Paris Landing
area. He has also contributed many outdoor oriented articles to
various national publications.