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Is There a New World-Record?

Huge Japanese bass could tie Georgia's spot at the top.

Nick Carter | August 1, 2009

Georgia may soon have to share one of its most coveted claims to fame — the world-record largemouth bass. The details are sketchy, because no one at GON speaks Japanese, but from what we could glean from The International Game Fish Association (IGFA), Internet forums and the Associated Press, a flashy Deps pro-staff angler from Japan, Manabu Kurita, caught a monstrous bass July 2 that may outweigh George Perry’s.

For 77 years George Perry’s 22-lb., 4-oz. largemouth, caught from Montgomery Lake, an oxbow off the Ocmulgee River, in 1932, has withstood the test of time. Recently, bass-fishing experts have speculated a new world record would soon come from Dixon Lake in California, where anglers have come close, but this fish was caught in Japan, where largemouth bass are an invasive species.

ESPN, which apparently has Japanese-speaking staff members, reports the fish weighs 10.12 kilograms (about 22-lbs., 5-ozs.), and measures 73.5 centimeters (about 29 inches) in length.

That would make it the heaviest largemouth ever caught by about an ounce. A new world record, right? Not necessarily, according to Jason Schratweiser, the conservation director with IGFA.

Jason told GON on July 23 that IGFA has not yet received any of the required documentation on Manabu’s bass, but IGFA’s sister arm in Japan, the Japanese Game Fish Association (JGFA), has. JGFA is currently reviewing the documents and translating them to send to IGFA. Documentation must reach IGFA within 90 days of the catch.

“You never know what’s going on until you dive into the application and see what’s going on,” Jason said.

“They should be over there looking into it and doing the due diligence.”

Even if everything checks out, this new fish would only tie Perry’s record if the stated weights hold up, said Jason. For records weighing less than 25 pounds, a new record must weigh at least 2 ounces more than the old one to become a new record.

The rumors bouncing around on Internet forums claim the fish was caught on the Japanese version of a live bream from Lake Biwa. To see a Japanese newscast of the fish, log onto <www.youtube.com>, and search “Japan world record largemouth.”

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