Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My, that's a big one (Possible new world record largemouth)

The necessary paperwork to certify a new world record mark for the largemouth bass has arrived at the International Game Fish Association's offices in Florida.

IGFA reports that Japanese angler Manabu Kurita, 32 of Aiochi caught a 22-pound, 4-ounce bass from Lake Biwa, an ancient reservoir northeast of Kyoto. The fish measured 27.20 inches and had a girth of 26.77 inches.

Kurita's trolled a live bluegill to catch his fish, which was examined by Japanese fisheries biologists. These biologists concluded that the fish was a female and not a sterile bass. Such sterile fish are called triploids which often grow larger than sexually correct fish.

IGFA spokesmen said also they have a number of questions to pose to Kurita. Among them are local fishing laws and where he caught the fish in a canal.

An announcement on the catch could come within three to four weeks, the IGFA said.

But if it is certified than Kurita's bass will tie the current largemouth bass record caught June 2, 1932 by George Perry near Jacksonville, Georgia.

This record - as the IGFA notes - is the "Holy Grail" of fresh-water fishing. That is because the species is the Number One sport fish in North America and also because the record has stood for 77 years, the IGFA said.

Interestingly, too, it rumored that Lake Biwa contains a 25-pound largemouth bass - a species the Japanese consider to be invasive.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

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