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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

September 18, 2009 at 4:47 PM

Pending world record largemouth bass caught in Japan submitted to International Game Fish Association

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One of the most prized world fishing records in the United States may be in limbo after the much talked about 22 pound, 4 ounce largemouth bass that was caught from Japan’s largest lake back in early summer.

Late Monday, the International Game Fish Association (IGFA), the 70-year old non-profit fisheries conservation, education and record-keeping body, received the application for the largemouth bass caught July 2 by Manabu Kurita, age 32, of Aichi, Japan.

IGFA rules for fish caught outside the U.S. allows anglers 90 days to submit their applications from the date of their catch.

If confirmed Kurita’s largemouth bass would tie the current record held for over 77 years by George Perry caught on Georgia’s Montgomery Lake, caught back on 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.

IGFA conservation director Jason Schratwieser said in a news release that the World All-Tackle application is currently under review after it was received through the Japan Game Fish Association (JGFA).

The large bass was caught in Lake Biwa an ancient reservoir northeast of Kyoto.

Largemouth bass have also been introduced in many countries and in Japan fisheries officials consider it an invasive species.

In addition, because bass are not native and are stocked in Japan, many speculated that the big 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.

IGFA World Records Coordinator Becky Wright reported Kurita’s fish measured 27.20 inches long and a girth of 26.77 inches. Kurita was using a blue gill as live bait trolling through a canal.

“We have a formal relationship with our sister organization, the Japan Game Fish Association where they first collect and review record applications for fish caught in Japan,” said Schratwieser. “It works out well because they not only translate applications but can also contact the angler if more documentation is needed.

“We still have a number of questions to ask them and Kurita regarding local laws and the area he caught it in while he was trolling through a canal on the lake,” said Schratwieser. “We hope to make an announcement in three to four weeks.”

Annually the IGFA publishes a comprehensive list of current records on nearly 1,100 species of fresh and saltwater fish across the globe in its highly acclaimed World Record Game Fishes (WRGF) book which is divided into all-tackle, line classes, fly, and junior record categories.

The IGFA has been recognized as the official keeper of world saltwater fishing records since its founding in 1939. In 1978 it added the field of freshwater record-keeping when Field & Stream magazine transferred its 68 years of records to the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum, the association’s world headquarters in Dania Beach, Fla.

For more information, go to IGFA Web site or call the IGFA headquarters at 954-927-2628.

The IGFA is a not-for-profit organization committed to the conservation of game fish and promotion of responsible, ethical angling practices through science, education, rule making and record keeping. IGFA members are located in over 125 countries and territories. The IGFA welcomes visitors to its interactive Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum in Dania Beach, Florida.

(Photo provided by IGFA)

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