On Friday, Jan. 8, 2010, at 1:30 p.m. ET, the International Game Fish Association will announce its decision regarding the world record application of Japan's Manabu Kurita. Bassmaster.com will have live video coverage of the press conference.
On July 2, 2009, Kurita reportedly caught a 22-pound, 4.97-ounce largemouth bass from Lake Biwa, one of the largest lakes in Japan and one of the oldest in the world.
If IGFA approves Kurita's application, his catch will tie the current record, a 22-4 largemouth caught by George W. Perry in 1932 from Georgia's Montgomery Lake, an oxbow of the Ocmulgee River. The 77-year-old record is one of the oldest, and certainly the most sought after, in all of sportfishing.
Kurita's catch and application triggered one of the longest and most exhaustive investigations in IGFA history.
"The IGFA has gone to great lengths to ensure that this application and the catch behind it are legitimate," said Ken Duke, senior editor of BASS Publications. "Millions of anglers all around the world will be interested to see if Kurita can join George Perry as the record holder. It's the most important record in all of fishing, and IGFA has covered all the bases in their investigation. All we need to know is the decision."
Since Kurita's bass does not exceed the weight of Perry's fish by more than 2 ounces, it is not eligible to qualify as a new world record according to IGFA regulations. Instead, if it is approved, the catch will be considered a tie with Perry's fish.