The ball is now in the court of the International Game Fish Association as the 22-pound, 5-ounce largemouth bass taken in Japan earlier this summer has been submitted for world record recognition. Caught in July, and disputed on several levels, this seems like a no-brainer based on the IGFA’s track record. Japan will embrace the new record and IGFA will turn it down.

But then, I didn’t catch it, so I don’t have a vested interest.

According to the following release, the application arrived in Florida on Monday:

DANIA BEACH, Fla. USA, (September 15, 2009) — Documentation for a much talked about 22 lb 4 oz largemouth bass, caught from Japan’s largest lake in July, has arrived into the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) headquarters for world record recognition.

Late Monday, the IGFA, the 70-year old non-profit fisheries conservation, education and record-keeping body, received the application for the largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), caught July 2, by Manabu Kurita, 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.

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

Schratwieser said the application stated the bass weighed 10.12 kg (22 lbs 4 ozs) and was pulled from Lake Biwa an ancient reservoir northeast of Kyoto. Photos and video were also submitted with the written documentation.

Kurita’s fish would tie the current record held for over 77 years by George Perry caught on Georgia’s 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.

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 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.

A decision by the IGFA of whether Kurita’s fish will tie Perry’s record may take up to a month.

“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.”


3 Responses to “Time to decide: IGFA gets Japan’s record app”

Place your bets folks. Vegas odds are 3:1 that the record won’t surpass the current benchmark.

The bass will tie Perrys record in the end but because of the way he caught it and the Japanese media and Deps he will barely make a dime. lol

You know, Steve, I disagree. If a guy can get a $50 gift certificate for winning a buddy tournament in Alabama, I’m pretty sure a guy who can walk into the convention center at ICAST (or anywhere else) as the “new world record holder” will do okay. IGFA may quibble over an ounce, but not most sober people.