For at least 40 years, fishermen have been riding the notion that catching a new world record bass could be worth a fortune. After more than seven decades, George Perry’s storied catch from 1932 created an oh-so-tempting standard–one barely a fingertip away from fame and riches.

Thus, as we have come to expect from certain anglers, the world record prospect steadily brought out the worst in people trying everything from pen-raising to Photoshop along with all the usual attempts of snagging, unlawful baits, trespassing and then tossing in a range of quirky to larcenous explanations for the lack of necessary documentation.

But finally, we have some definitive information on the true value of a record catch! It seems Manabu Kurita, the Japanese angler who ever-so-closely broke the Perry record a year ago, is virtually standing on street corners with a cardboard sign. The fishing world, you see, is not quite as excited about a world record bass as the myth has led us to believe.

The raining endorsements are so absent, Kurita just announced he is trying to raise money by selling his mounted record fish (click here). Those proceeds (along with whatever he has collected for selling posters of himself with the fish) apparently do not quite equate with international fame and a comfortable life-style. Or possibly even food.

Oh, you can blame the IGFA for calling Kurita’s catch a tie with Perry, or that the Japanese fish was caught on live bait, or I guess, that the guy can hardly speak English. If you want, you can also blame the Internet for wearing out “the buzz” months before the record-keepers could make a decision, or maybe you can even blame George Perry for catching a world record before the “rules” were ever established.

Or maybe the explanation is much simpler than that. The world record bass was never worth a million bucks.


7 Responses to “World Record myth: the million dollar bass”

by Brian Linehan

They find any lead in that beast?

by George Kramer

Not all the news has to be “heavy,” Brian. 🙂

Sadly, everything you listed adds up to complete apathy about Kurita’s catch:

(1) The IGFA couldn’t have sucked more blood out of the catch than the cast of Twilight.
(2) While live bait shouldn’t matter, it does.
(3) Same with the racial overtones. Does it matter that he is Japanese? It shouldn’t, but it does to a lot of people who, of course, wouldn’t admit to any prejudice.
(4) Yes, George Perry’s record was the least documented of them all, technically shouldn’t have been the record, but it was our good fortune to have a record that kept people dreaming.

BUT (5) those dreams were extinguished by all the above plus this fact: The cadre of low-life bass criminals who pursued this record effectively destroyed whatever glimmer of caring the rest of us held in our hearts. Thank you, (DELETED BY KGF) and all those in between.

Remember the adage about killing the Golden Goose? These knuckle-dragging morons (meaning no disrespect to regular, run-of-the-mill morons) had the fish and screwed it up. And, unlike Mike Hart, these idiots still have friends in the bass fishing community. They still run in the same circles with anglers who should be exposed for what they really do and have done to cheat other fishermen. They are the real vampires who have sucked the lifeblood out of this sport.

Interesting. George, as you know I just spoke with Manabu Kurita yesterday. He is selling the world record mount. The reasons are at my site and on Facebook.
Mike, I tend to agree with what you said. I am not going to cause anymore controversy by adding to it, but I agree.
Steve “Not Just Delaware”

Folks forget that Perry’s record fish netted $75 worth of prizes, including a new rod and reel, during the height of the Depression. “George was tickled” when the prize package arrived at his home, said his sister, Rubye. He also won the 1934 Big Fish contest and another prize package totaling the same amount. We have to presume he was “tickled” again by his good luck.

I wrote to Kurita congratulating him on his tie. I also suggested that his sponsors underwrite a trip to this country. I would have taken him to Montgomery Lake to visit our own bass fishing shrine, but since his English was equivalent to my Japanese, I never heard a word. I felt like his sponsors let him down by not exploiting his catch more. I am sorry to hear of his misfortune.

Had the fish been caught in this country, would things be different? I wonder. . .

We (XPoint Hooks) offered a million-dollar award for the next world record bass and $50,000 for a state record bass. One feller transported a bass to a grocery store to weigh it. Then he drove back and released it. Not only did he NOT get the official nod from the game and fish folks; he was nearly cited for releasing the fish because he “transported” it. (Same lake!)
So the promotion became about “killing fish” instead of rewarding an angler. We dropped the program right away. Darn shame the bureaucrats got involved. My congrats to Kurita too.-TJ

I agree, catching “THE BEAST” on live bait shouldn’t matter, but dollars and cents wise, it means everything. If Kurita had caught it on a Ztrike Ging “Flexi Shad” using Flustad 2X Treble Hooks, 20lb test Drilene 10th Gen Fluoro on a Zippity Do-Dah Reel and Jackstick Rod, I HAVE TO (want to?) believe his economic outlook would have improved greatly. I think it’s a disgrace (for the $$$ Billion Dollar fishing industry) that he has to sell the mount just to get by. The real myth is that George Perry’s bass was remotely the same size as Kurita’s. Maybe it’s just that no REALLY WANTS the record broken, thus relegating the Perry Myth to second (asterisk) place….