James D. Hitchens of Georgetown, Del., did two great things on March 22, 2012. First, he caught a 10-pound, 10-ounce largemouth bass, setting a new state record for the species in Delaware. Second, he released her to spawn and perhaps be caught again.
Hitchens was fishing a Sussex County pond with a live shiner when the bass struck. The big female was 26 inches long and 18 3/4 inches in girth. For more on the story, click here.
The previous state record largemouth was caught by Tony Kaczmarczyk in 1980. Delaware's smallmouth record weighed 4-15.5 and was caught in 1989. Six state record largemouths weigh less than 10 pounds.