The 11 Biggest Largemouth Bass Ever Caught

In the decades since that summer day in 1932, when he hauled in the all-tackle world record—which he entered into Field & Stream’s big-fish contest later that year—bass anglers across the world have tried to top the trophy, which no doubt remains the Holy Grail of the fishing world. Here’s a look at a dozen of the best: The 11 biggest largemouths ever caught with a rod and reel, as listed in the International Game Fishing Association record book. Larry Kurosaki used a custom-tied minnow fly on an 8-pound tippet to hook this big bass during a morning outing on Castaic Lagoon, a smaller body of water below the main reservoir of Castaic Lake, in California. It’s the biggest largemouth caught with fly tackle in the IGFA record book. Robert Crupi started his string of remarkable bass catches with this 21-pounder that, at the time, was the third largest largemouth ever certified by IGFA. A regular at Castaic Lake since 1977, Crupi had fished the same spot for five consecutive days before hooking this whopper, which hit a live crayfish in about 40 feet of water. It was—and still is—the men’s 12-pound-line-class record. The first largemouth certified at more than 20 pounds in almost 50 years, Easley’s catch—the men’s 8-pound-line-class record) was only a pound and an ounce shy of the world record. Using a live crayfish for bait, Crupi reportedly needed only three minutes to boat the fish, and then raced to shore to weigh the potential world record at a local deli’s certified scale. Though the fish weighed .96 ounces more than Perry’s, IGFA regulations require that new world records weighing 25 pounds or less must weigh at least 2 ounces more than the standing record to claim the title—which is why the record remains a tie.

On this day 85 years ago, George Washington Perry landed the most legendary catch in recreational-fishing history: A 22-pound 4-ounce largemouth bass, from Georgia’s Montgomery Lake. In the decades since that summer day in 1932, when he hauled in the all-tackle world record—which he entered into Field & Stream’s big-fish contest later that year—bass anglers across the world have tried to top the trophy, which no doubt remains the Holy Grail of the fishing world. But even after eight decades, and with an estimated 10 million bass fishermen in the U.S., Perry’s accomplishment has been equaled but never surpassed. All that angling has, however, produced some impressive catches. Here’s a look at a dozen of the best: The 11 biggest largemouths ever caught with a rod and reel, as listed in the International Game Fishing Association record book.

15 pounds 12 ounces • May 8, 2006 • Spruce Creek, Daytona Beach, Florida

record bass
Mackenzie Ruth Hickox

Mackenzie Hickox was only 11 years old when she set the female junior-angler record while fishing with her parents, her sister, and a friend from the shore of a man-made pond near her house. She used a Strobe Spinner to entice a strike, then measured and weighed the bass on a portable scale before releasing it.

record bass
Terry McAbee

Not much is known about McAbee’s top-10 catch, other than that he landed it after a 10-minute fight using a G. Loomis rod, a Daiwa reel, and a 6-inch artificial worm. The fish was weighed on a certified scale at a local supermarket, and it’s the men’s 6-pound-line-class record.

record bass
Larry Kurosaki

Larry Kurosaki used a custom-tied minnow fly on an 8-pound tippet to hook this big bass during a morning outing on Castaic Lagoon, a smaller body of water below the main reservoir of Castaic Lake, in California. It’s the biggest largemouth caught with fly tackle in the IGFA record book. Kurosaki fought the fish for five minutes before weighing it with a portable certified scale and releasing it.

record bass
Cody Pierce

Cody Pierce wasn’t exactly playing hooky when he nailed this 17-pounder, but odds are that he was a little late to class after tying into the lunker. The 14-year-old had ridden his skateboard to Murray Reservoir near San Diego to squeeze in a little bass action before school; after catching some smaller fish, he decided he had time for one more cast before calling it a morning. He weighed the fish at a local ranger station before releasing it. Scoring the male junior-angler record is a good excuse for being tardy, in our book.

record bass
Robert Crupi

A monster largemouth busting a topwater lure is the stuff that fishing dreams—and magazine covers—are made of, but…

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