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Published: Friday, 9/18/2009

77-year-old bass record may be eclipsed

Records - two potential world marks, both whoppers - are dominating the fishing news, so here goes:

The most coveted world record in freshwater fishing, for largemouth bass, may have met its match after 77 years of challenges with the landing this summer of a 22-pound, 4-ounce fish by a Japanese fisherman.

The International Game Fish Association, based in Dania Beach, Fla., said this week that it may take three to four weeks to confirm the catch on July 2 by Manabu Kurita, 32, of Aichi, Japan. IGFA rules for fish caught outside the United States allows anglers 90 days to submit their applications from the date of their catch.

IGFA conservation director Jason Schratwieser said the World All-Tackle application is under review after it was received through the Japan Game Fish Association (JGFA). Becky Wright, IGFA's world records coordinator, reported Kurita's fish measured 27.20 inches in length and an almost equal girth of 26.77 inches. She said Kurita was using a blue gill as live bait trolling through a canal.

The angler's application stated the bass weighed 10.12 kilograms, or 22 pounds, 4 ounces, and was pulled from Lake Biwa, an ancient reservoir northeast of Kyoto. Photos and video were also submitted with the written documentation.

The fish would tie the current record held for over 77 years by George Perry caught on Montgomery Lake, June 2, 1932, near Jacksonville, Georgia. In North America the largemouth bass, and especially the all-tackle record, is considered by millions of anglers as the "holy grail" of freshwater fish because of its popularity and the longevity of Perry's record.

Ironically, Japanese fisheries authorities consider the largemouth an invasive species, because bass are not native and are stocked in Japan, many speculated that the Kurita bass was a sterile triploid. However when biologists in Japan examined the ova of the big female they concluded that the fish was not triploid. Such a fish presumably could grow very large in the absence of annual reproductive stresses.

The IGFA annually publishes a comprehensive list of current records on nearly 1,100 species of fresh and saltwater fish across the globe. For other details visit online to at igfa.org or call the headquarters at 954-927-2628.

A potential world record brown trout weighing 41 pounds, 7 1/4 ounces has been landed by a Michigan angler fishing from a boat on the Manistee River in west-central lower Michigan.

Tom Healy, a 66-year-old retiree from Rockford, Mich., cast a black/silver Rapala Shad Rap to the fish, and hooked up, while fishing recently with guide Tim Roller, according to news service reports.

Biologists with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources weighed the fish and confirmed its identity. The previous state record for brown trout was a 36-pound, 13-ounce specimen caught in Frankfort in 2007.

The present world record is a 40-pound, 4-ounce brown trout caught in 1992 on the White River in Arkansas.

Healy would need certification from the IGFA or the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame to be the new world record-holder.

Healy told reporters that since landing the monster brown, "they're going to make me the king of Manistee, Michigan.

The Magee Marsh Wildlife Area road will be closed to all traffic on Monday and Tuesday. The road will be closed to all visitors from the entrance point at State Route 2 to the beach parking lots to allow for road repairs and resurfacing. Access to the Sportsmen Migratory Bird Center and all trails will be closed during the repair work.

On the weekend - Tonight, fish fry, 4 to 7, Wolf Creek Sportsmen's Association, 349 Teachout Rd., north of State Rt. 2, Jerusalem Township.

Tomorrow, fall open house and turkey shoot, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Camp Perry Marksmanship Center, Camp Perry, Port Clinton, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., fun shoot on electronic targets, call 419-635-2141 or visit online at odcmp.org and click on "open house."

Tomorrow, 10 a.m., Kenn Kaufman, renowned author and bird authority, the Midwest Birding Symposium, Hoover Auditorium, Lakeside, on "Flights Against the Sunset: Why We Need Birds;" visit online midwestbirdingsymposium.org.

Sunday, excursion to Point Pelee National Park, Ontario, monarch butterfly migration and birdwatching, via Jet Express, departure and return, Port Clinton, call 800 245-1538.

Tomorrow, Lytton Fox Hunters, 50-year appreciation hog roast and open house, 1 to 6 p.m., home of Bob and Nancy Smithmyer, 5604 Co. Rd. L, Delta, call 419-826-3236.

Sunday, Sportsmen's Swap Meet, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sandusky County Fairgrounds, North Street, Fremont, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., hunting, fishing, archery, and other outdoor equipment, call the Sandusky County Fair Board/Agricultural Society, 419-332-5604.

Contact Steve Pollick at:

spollick@theblade.com

or 419-724-6068.



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