Debunking the Largemouth Bass World Record

Mac Weakley's 25.1 lb. Bass

Mac Weakley’s 25.1 lb. Bass

Mac Weakley’s 25-1 will not be considered for the All Tackle World Record. The current Smallmouth record was just reinstated after invesitgation. Yet the 75 year old record Largemouth bass still stands with little scrutiny.

Recently the IGFA struck the All Tackle World Record Smallmouth bass from the record books only to reinstate it after a National outcry from bass anglers. Although some mystery likely surrounds every record, the smallmouth record was only tainted by jealous individuals who where competing for notoriety of the catch, the funny thing was that this competition wasn’t by the angler who caught the fish, it was among lodge owners who were battling for more business. The record seemed askew only because these individuals were providing falsehoods about the facts of the catch. The fish was indeed weighed and photographed and if ever there should be a recognizable record Smallmouth, this was surely it.

On March 20 2006. Lake Dixon Ca. produced the largest bass ever caught, a 25.1lb brutus that will not qualify for the All Tackle World record because it was foul hooked. Despite being weighed, photographed and videotaped this fish will go down as the largest bass taken on rod and reel but not hold the slot in IGFA books. The slot is currently held by a more than suspicious 75 year old record of 22-4 caught by George Washington Perry of Georgia.

Unlike the Smallmouth Bass record, the Largemouth Bass All Tackle World Record has absolutely no concrete verification. There are no photographs, no certified scales, no witnesses and up until shortly before his death, George Perry’s death claimed the fish was caught on several different lures. Perry told the world he caught the fish on a Creek chub Wiggle Fish but later before his death said it was a Creek Chub Shiner. Why did he change the bait almost 45 years after he caught the fish? Could it be he picked the Wiggle Fish because of a contest that brought anyone who caught a record on this specific bait a slew of prizes? Perry’s written letters to Creek Chub seem more like solicitations for free baits, more than praises of a good product. In my opinion this guy was working the system in a calculated way. He was trying to get free baits.

Judging the willingness of the committee to throw out the smallmouth record, despite having good documentation, the largemouth record still stands with none. As someone who is interested in this, I can’t fathom how this has not been investigated further.

Consider the following: Ray Scott the founder of B.A.S.S. sent one of his reporters to do an interview with Perry in 1978 and administer a lie detector test. Perry only did the interview and declined the lie detector test.

Also no other bass from GA has even come close to 22.4 lbs. Currently the second largest Georgia bass is almost a full 5 pounds lighter.  The measurements don’t add up. That fish was 4 inches longer than Jed Dickerson’s 22-9 fish when he caught it and I think 2 1/2 inches fatter.  When Jed first weighed the bass it was 22.9 lbs but later the official weight was 21 lbs 11 oz. Perry’s measurements were MUCH larger and it only weighed 1/2 lb more. Perry’s numbers don’t add up.
– Perry’s fishing partner was never located for comment on the catch.
– Perry changed his story on the bait he used.
– Perry wrote a letter to the Creek Chub Bait Co. and told them he had a picture of the fish and would give it to them for some free lures. Creek Chub never got that photograph.

The following year Perry did win the F/S contest with a fish pictured in which he claims it to be over 13 lbs. This is the only known photo of Perry with any fish, the fish barely looks like it is seven pounds. It also discredits the myth that Perry was too poor to have a camera which doesn’t explain why a photo of the alleged 22-4 has never come to surface.

I’m not questioning that Perry caught a giant bass, he likely did. I however, doubt the fish he caught that qualified for the record was as large as reported and it certainly was weighed on a crude scale by today’s standards and requirements. The fact that no photo of this fish has surfaced should have been more than enough for the IGFA to toss this record or at least put an asterisk next to it.

In my opinion, the current World Record belongs to California angler Bob Crupi whose 22 pound 1 oz largemouth bass caught on March 12 1991 should be the officially recognized fish.

We all would like Perry’s fish to stand, it represents a time of honesty and ethics, however, the more time passes on, the more apparent this fish was a misrepresentation whether intentional or not.

Craig DeFronzo

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