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Old 01-22-2004, 11:14 AM
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Dble Haul Dble Haul is offline
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All tackle record denied

Here's an article that shows the status of this fish, and that the issue should finally be put to bed.

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IGFA Denies Record For Huge California Largemouth

DANIA BEACH, FL--After months of painstaking deliberation, officials of the International Game Fish Association recently denied the world-record application made by Leaha Trew of Santa Rosa, California, for a 22-pound, 8-ounce largemouth she caught and released Aug. 24, 2003.

The action may be the final chapter in a long, drawn-out process that had the fishing world pressing to know whether the 71-year-old world record, a 22 1/4-pound bass caught by George Perry on Montgomery Lake, Georgia, would finally fall.

Trew caught the big bass while fishing with her son, NAFC member Javad Trew, on Spring Lake, a 72-acre flood-control lake within Spring Lake Regional Park in Sanoma County. The water is noted for producing trophy-class largemouths, including a number of line-class records caught by Javad, as well as the 24-pounder Club member Paul Duclos caught (and weighed on a bathroom scale) in 1997.

"With a record of this magnitude, you have to be absolutely certain," said Michael Leech, IGFA President. "There was nothing wrong with what, Leaha Trew and her son provided in the application, there just wasn't enough-no fish, just one photo, and no unbiased witness. It's just not enough to replace such an important record."

Trew also applied for record status to the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, which also denied the big bass as a new world record.

"It met all the requirements for a record, but not for an All-Tackle record. "said Executive Director Ted Dzialo, "We granted it a 12-pound line-class record."

Because the bass was released and could not be checked for foreign objects and other discrepancies, the NFWFHF could not grant an official world record. It did, however, recognize Trew's bass as an "Unofficial World Record.

"The rules say a potential world record must be examined; unfortunately that means killing the fish."

The Catch

Trew and her son had been fishing about two hours that Sunday afternoon, and were casting plastic worms from their inflatable boat along the lip of a 20-foot hole on the lake's north end.

Tiring of worm fishing, she tied on a Storm Suspending WildEye Swim Shad, a 7-inch saltwater swimbait she says she bought because, "it just looked like it would catch bass."

The rest of her rig included an 8 1/2-foot Shakespeare Intrepid rod, Shimano Stradic 4000 baitcaster and 12-pound Stren Magnaflex mono.

The fish hit on a steady swimming retrieve, and fought for 10 minutes before coming to the boat. "I thought I'd snagged weeds at first," she says, "then the line started moving toward open water."

Questions Answered

On shore the pair measured and weighed the bass on an IGFA-certified BogaGrip hand-held scale. "It was 29 inches long, with a 25-inch girth, and pulled the scale to just over 22 pounds, 8 ounces," says Javad, who's entered numbers of trophy-class largemouths in the NAFC Catch & Release Contest.

The BogaGrip measures in eight-ounce increments, so the NFWFHA recognized the lesser weight for its line class record."

They photographed the fish one time because, according to Javad, "there was only one exposure left on the disposable camera. I debated going to buy another one, but it was a five-mile drive and we were going to release the fish anyway."

That's a sore point among the Internet bulletin board and chatroom crowd who say releasing the fish is adequate reason for people to be skeptical about its reported weight.

"We always catch-and-release," explains Javad. "Besides, I really didn't think you could keep fish. There are signs posted that say removing any animal, alive or dead, from the park is prohibited."

Spring Park Ranger confirmed the signs' existence, but added that small print at the bottom excludes fish.

"The lake is under general fishing regulations, a 12-inch minimum length limit and 5-fish daily bag limit."

After submitting record applications, the Trews contacted tackle manufacturers about possible promotion partnerships, yet remained publicly silent, refusing all media requests for interviews.

"The IGFA told us it would be best not to talk about it until we knew something for sure," says Trew.

"There really was no reason to discuss it before a decision was made," adds Javad.

Of the tackle companies, just one has shown interest so far. "You can say that Javad will be a member of our field staff," says Stren's David Justice-Kurt Beckstrom
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