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A possible new world record bass was caught in California Monday, March 20, 2005.
Mac Weakley of Carlsbad caught the fish off the bed at Dixon Lake. He and two friends have been fishing for this bass every bedding season for the past couple of years. He was interview by Bassfan.com about the catch.
The bass has a distinctive mark on her and is probably the same bass caught two times in the past, when she weighed 20 to 21 pounds. The bass weighed 25 pounds, 1 ounce on hand held uncertified scales Monday.
As always, there is controversy surrounding this catch. The fishermen had bought a camping permit to get ahead of other fishermen in line so they could be on the water first. They set up on the fish after watching someone else fish for it on Sunday. Rumor has it they tried to pay that fisherman to leave it alone and let them fish for it.
Observers on the bank said they watched Weakley set the hook five times before hooking the bass, and it was foul hooked in the side, not in the mouth. The fish was photographed and released before Game and Fish officials could arrive.
An observer said the three men in the boat landed the bass near the dock after fighting it for a while, then went to the middle of 70 acre lake to discuss what to do. They then came back to the dock and released the bass. They did not measure it before releasing it, and did not try to get certified scales to weigh it.
For these and other reasons the San Diego Times says the fish will not be submitted for a record. This article also has a picture of the fish.
George Perry caught the current world record bass 74 years ago in Georgia. That fish was not photographed but a replica was made and pictures of it are on a sign in the small town in Georgia where it was caught.
The new world record has been an object of fantasy for bass fishemen for years, with some saying the fisherman catching it could earn over a million dollars from the catch.
Largemouth bass are not native to California. They have been stocked there for years and seem to grow bigger and faster there than in their native range. It helps if lakes like Dixon have trout in them, bass love to feed on trout.
Some have said non native fish should not be considered for records, but that is not in the International Game Fish Association rules.
What do you think? Join the discussion on the forum.