The International Game Fish Association announced today (Friday, Jan. 7) that it has accepted an application from a Japanese angler for catching a largemouth bass that ties a 77-year-old world record.
Thirty-two-year-old Manabu Kurita of Aichi, Japan, caught a largemouth bass that weighed 22 pounds, 4 ounces while fishing Japan's Lake Biwa on July 2, 2009. This is one ounce larger than the bass taken by George Perry of Georgia 77 years ago.
IGFA rules stipulate that any freshwater fish weighing under 25 pounds must weigh at least two ounces more in order for it to become a new solo all-tackle record.
Even so, Kurita caught the world's most sought-after angling prize, said to be worth up to $1 million in endorsements.
Kurita's bass also measured 27.2 inches long and had a girth that measured 26.7 inches.
He used a live bluegill for bait and encountered a fight that lasted only three minutes before landing his prize.
The reason it took six months to certify Kurita's catch was because rumors that the fish was somehow illegally taken surfaced almost immediately. But repeated questioning, an intense investigation and even a successfully passed polygraph test only confirmed that Kurita had properly and legally caught the behemoth bass.
By comparison, Ohio's state record largemouth bass weighed 13.13 pounds and measured 25 1/16 inch. It was taken from a farm pond on May 26, 1976 by Roy Landsberger of Kensington.
A posting and video of the IGFA press conference is available by viewing the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society's web page.
- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn