IGFA receives documentation of largemouth bass

Manabu Kurita

DANIA BEACH, Fla. USA (September 15, 2009) — Documentation for a much talked about 22-pound, 4-ounce 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 pounds, 4 ounces) 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, Ga.

 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 bluegill 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."

 Annually the IGFA publishes a comprehensive list of current records on nearly 1,100 species of fresh and saltwater fish across the globe in its highly acclaimed World Record Game Fishes (WRGF) book which is divided into all-tackle, line classes, fly, and junior record categories.

 The IGFA has been recognized as the official keeper of world saltwater fishing records since its founding in 1939. In 1978, it added the field of freshwater record keeping when Field & Stream magazine transferred its 68 years of records to the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum at the association's world headquarters in Dania Beach, Fla.

 The next edition of the IGFA World Record Game Fishes book will be released in early 2010 and is only available from the IGFA with a $40 annual IGFA membership. The membership also includes online access to the most current updated world records on the IGFA Web site, six issues of the International Angler bi-monthly news magazine, unlimited admission to the IGFA's interactive Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum in Dania Beach, Fla., plus much more.

 To join, or to renew your IGFA membership, go online to www.igfa.org or call the IGFA headquarters at 954-927-2628.

 The IGFA is a not-for-profit organization committed to the conservation of gamefish and promotion of responsible, ethical angling practices through science, education, rule making and record keeping. IGFA members are located in over 125 countries and territories. The IGFA welcomes visitors to its interactive Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum in Dania Beach, Fla.

 Its Web site is www.igfa.org.

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