largemouth_recordin Japan.

So, largemouth bass are native only to North America, and pretty much only the southeast until they started getting stocked all over the nation. Now Japan shares the all-tackle record for largemouth bass. Somehow I missed this story last year, the fish was caught in September of 2009.

I used to be a big largemouth bass fisherman. As such I bought a lot of magazines and read some books on the subject. So I’ve known for some time that the world record for largemouth bass has for 77 years been the 22 pound, 4 ounce largemouth bass caught in a relatively small lake in Georgia during the midst of the Great Depression by a guy named George Perry, a small town farmer who was 20 years old at the time. There’s a bit of a legend about that fish in fact, since it was caught long before such things garnered major media attention and required lawyers to certify the weight of the fish. Mr. Perry weighed and measured the fish in the presence of a Notary Public on the certified scales of a Post Office in order to qualify for a then promotional Field & Stream contest and won a new fishing rod, a shotgun and some tackle (maybe $75 worth of stuff back then, probably around $500 today). Then after measuring and weighing it, he promptly took it home and the Perry family had bass filets for dinner. By the time a Field & Stream editor arrived to meet and talk to Mr. Perry, there was nothing left of the bass but some bones. Nevertheless, based on the Notary public, eye witnesses and the skeleton itself, the fish was duly certified as the world record at 22 pounds and 4 ounces.

Well, things are different today, and the fellow who cought the bass in Japan which has equaled Mr. Perry’s record is now a worldwide celebrity and has made a fortune in promotional fees and endorsements.

Almost makes you feel bad for Mr. Perry, who died in a small plane crash at the age of 61 or so…