Paul From Minneapolis

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Is this a hoax!!??!


25.1 pounds, supposedly. Caught, weighed - released!

This is so much bigger - almost 3 pounds more - than the current ancient record, which has long been the Holy Grail of fishing records; I’ll write more about it later. But this is like Bob Beamon at the '68 Olympics. It's completely absurd. If it’s true, this fellow “Mac Weakley” is rich. (That's not him holding the fish; it's his pal.)

Is it any kind of clue at all that the angler's name is so strikingly similar to the name of the newspaper at my alma mater? Seems a little odd. Although it would also be odd for my Minnesota college newspaper to be somehow involved.

The guy in the photo may be engaged that age-old trick of holding the fish close to the camera. Still, it's one hell of a bass.

Update: Weird story. She came from a tiny lake. (Monster bass are always “she.”) A select few have been aware of this specific bass for years. She's been caught twice, weighing more than 20 pounds both times. Now, she was spotted on her nest in mating season, meaning probably bloated further with eggs, and a couple different teams spent hours over two days casting to her specifically.

I would guess the average bass nesting spot is maybe three feet across: meaning we have here a fish lazing about in an area defined just about exactly by the diameter of your typical barrel.

Then, when caught, she was foul-hooked, which I think is illegal if done intentionally but which happens. (Foul-hooked means hooked other than in the mouth, like in the back or tail. It usually happens when a fish swipes and is missed, but the hook sets on the fish anyway. It's just considered less real, less sporting, although when you think about it, why? It’s just creepy somehow.)

Purposeful foul-hooking definitely disqualifies a fish from record consideration but it's unclear about accidental, which this definitely was.

It seems the fishermen made the right decision: let's release her and see what the reaction is. They may not actively pursue the record. I think they can fairly reliably verify the weight, by the way.

Of course now everyone in the world knows of this one bass. On a tiny lake. Weird.