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Backlash on the World Record Bass

Notes from the North Woods

Exhibiting potential as a future Bass Angler of the Year, Chad Hagar of Saranac Lake smiles while admiring a fine largemouth he had just landed.

Exhibiting potential as a future Bass Angler of the Year, Chad Hagar of Saranac Lake smiles while admiring a fine largemouth he had just landed. Photo by Joe Hackett.

George Perry had established the bass World Record on Georgia's Montgomery Lake way back in June 2, 1932. It was, and still is one of angling’s oldest remaining world records.

There’s still a lot of controversy surrounding the issue. Even though the Japanese largemouth tipped the scales at 22 pounds, 5 ounces, which topped the current bass record by a full ounce, the International Game Fish Association requires potential record fish to outweigh the old record by at least 2 ounces. The IGFA, which certifies game fish records worldwide, ruled the record a tie, and now, both fish jointly hold the World Record.

When Manabu Kurita was awarded the World Record for Largemouth Bass in 2009, it constituted the second time in five years that a Japanese angler had intruded on a blue blooded, American tradition.

The first occasion happened in Plattsburgh, NY, when Japan finally topped the United States at it’s own game. Short of knocking off the New York Yankees in the World Series, there had never been such an upset in modern day sports.

The initial incident occurred on June 24, 2004, when Shinichi Fukae of Osaka, Japan, the reigning Japan Bass Angler of the Year, made professional bass fishing history by fending off his closest American challenger to win the coveted Land O’Lakes Angler of the Year title. Fukae’s win marked the first time in the 36-year history of professional bass fishing, that someone earned angler of the year titles in two countries, and it occurred on Lake Champlain of all places.

Is it any wonder that Gary Yamamoto manufactures Senko’s, which have rapidly become the most popular, and likely the most productive softbait ever? Maybe the US should never have allowed either baseball, or bass to be taken out of the country.

Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at brookside18@adelphia.net.

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