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Largemouth record: Anticipation

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The International Game Fish Association, keeper of fishing records, has not received the application for the possible world-record largemouth bass caught in Japan last week as of Tuesday afternoon. However, IGFA conservation director Jason Schratwieser said, ``I anticipate getting one.''

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Many reports have Manabu Kurita catching the bass (10.12 kilograms and 73.5 centimeters) from Lake Biwa in the Shiga Prefecture of Japan. If verified, the nearly 29-inch fish would barely outweigh George Perry's world record for largemouth, a 22-pound, 4-ounce bass caught from Lake Montgomery in Georgia on June 2, 1932.

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The first reports came out about a possible new world record largemouth bass caught in Japan on July 2, 2009, and it weighed 22 pounds, 5 ounces, which was one ounce more than the 77 year old record of George Perry.

Here is what I reported first on my website on July 2, 2009, just a few hours after the bass was first caught.

Congrats to the angler on a fine catch.

Lake Biwa shocked the bass world a couple years ago by producing a bass that was well over 18 pounds (The Japan record was caught at Lake Ikehara, and weighted over 19 pounds.).

A 25 lb. bass was caught as by catch in a fisherman's net earlier this year, so many thought it would be just a matter of time before a record size fish was taken from Japan's largest (over 70 miles long) natural lake.

More updates from the Deps site:

As best I can summarize before the actual translating: He (reporter) was returning from a previous trip and had been out late that night. The next day around 12 he got a call about the big bass and to hurry as it was over 20 pounds. He arrived with a camera crew. The fish was originally kept in a recirculating livewell but as the day wore on the power died and so did the fish ultimately. Originally they thought of donating the fish live to the local museum for tourism purposes. The fish is now frozen and awaiting certification process.

When the fish was landed, the hook(s) fell out right as he got it in the net. It is still unclear even from the translator whether it is a lure or live bait that was used.

It apears to not have been caught on the "Mother" swimbait as was originally speculated. It also appears to have been caught in deep open water.

ROD: SIDEWINDER THE DOM DRIVER F / E

LINE: TORAY SUPER HARD STRONG 25lb

Then on July 4, 2009, I received this update on the staus and a video surfaced which i posted to my site.

It's amazing how quiet it is in Japan after the news that Japanese angler Manubu Kurita may have tied the more than 77-year-old all-tackle world record for bass with a 22-pound, 5-ounce largemouth he caught from Lake Biwa in the Shiga Prefecture of Japan.

Jon Storm of BassFan.com said the lack of news could be because the rights for the story have been locked in by a magazine there. Storm has reported the bass was caught on live bait, but there's also a report that Kurita used a $300 swimbait. He represents Deps Tackle Co., a Japanese firm. Storm has been told that Lure Magazine in Japan might have secured the rights to this fish story, so the details of the catch could be a while in coming.

THE VIDEO OF THIS BASS IS NOW UP IN THE VIDEO SECTION OF THIS SITE. http://www.delawaretrophybass.com/apps/videos/

I was excited at this point with all the commotion surrounding this catch, and the fact that we may have a new world record, even though I assumed it was going to come from California like so many others also thought, but it was still exciting to see such a monster finally weighed and certified, so I thought.

Then came the news that they had certified the scales in Japan and it was over the 22.4 mark of the Perry bass, and that the Japanese media, DEPS lure company, and LURE magazine in particular, had secured the rights to the story and were witholding any other information at all to the public because they were going to sell the DVD in Japanese later in the year and run an article in Lure magazine. Hmmm. seems strange that they wouldn't want to capitalize on the biggest money making opportunity to hit bass fishing in 77 years, I thought.

At this point I was wondering what was going on along with everyone else.

Then came the ICAST 2009 show in Florida, and the rumors started to fly about the bass being caught in an off-limits area of Lake Biwa and the IGFA does not allow world records from what it calls "Sanctuaries".

After hearing this, I started examining the photographs a lot more closely. I ran the video in slow motion and after about 2 hours started to really question the big red marks all over this bass. They really looked familiar to me but I couldn't figure out from where. That was until my cousin, who is a commercial fisherman came over and looked at them, and said "Those marks on that bass look just like the ones on the fish I catch in my Gill Nets!".

Now I knew where I had seen these before. I tried as hard as I could to discount this theory by trying to find some type of predator in Lake Biwa that may have caused those marks, but I couldn't. Then I tried to find any other bass with those marks that lived in lakes that had a high level of contamination, but I just didn't see it. I have had people tell me they have caught bass with these marks on them in Korea before. If they prove not to be marks from a net, then they must be an infection of some sort that I am not familiar with, but then my next question is raised, which is: "Why are they serving these and other fish from Lake Biwa on the restaurant menu with those types of infections on them? I know I certainly wouldn't want to eat anything that had those marks on it. If that's what you can see..What is in it that you can't see?

Now I am not going to say that I know conclusively that this is what they are, but it seems strange that the IGFA has not received any paperwork on this bass at all as of today, July 23, 2009, and neither has any other organization in Japan that I am aware of. There is no news, no comments by Japanese media, nothing! We will just have to wait and see what happens, but at this point I am really skeptical! You can view all these photos and videos yourself and you be the judge at Delaware Trophy Bass.

Given all the controversy surrounding Manubu Kurita’s pending World Record Largemouth Bass, Bounty Fishing decided to pass the picture along to the Forensics Team for me. Using the picture below, it was conlcuded that this fish was 28.27″. While this may break the BountyRecord, it falls quite short of the 29.4″ called.


I just received some great pictures from Manabu Kurita that are not on any other site if you want to see them.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on July 7, 2009 1:47 PM.

Liberal duck season: ``99.9 percent sure'' was the previous entry in this blog.

Fish of the Week: ``Out of this world'' bluegill is the next entry in this blog.

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