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The Current World Record Smallmouth!

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On July 9,1955 D.L. Hayes caught the 11 lbs. 15 oz. monster smallmouth on Dale Hollow.Alot of controversy surrounded this record and still does.Affadavits were filled out but not signed that the fish was stuffed with metal or steel objects for it to tip the scales.However the record still stands.I think this record is more contraversal than the LM record.Anybody know any details to this story?Another thing to add to this thread is where do you think the next world record smallie may come from? Dale Hollow of course is a good bet but I think the Tennessee river chain has a shot at it.

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This record has been through the ringer and has since been reinstated.

I think it was a mistake to ever question this record, I'm convinced that it's bona fide.

Roger

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I think it will come from Georgia. ;D

Man, that is too funny... I had to shut my office door to keep from disturbing my co-workers  :-X  Oops, guess I should get back to work.

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I think it will come from Georgia. ;D

From Perry's great, great grandson .................. w/ no pic of course. ;D

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THE WORLD-RECORD SMALLMOUTH BASS

As he has did several times in the past, David Hayes traveled about 100 miles to fish

for smallmouth bass in Dale Hollow Reservoir. It was a sunny morning on July 9th 1955,

when Dave left the ramp at Cedar Hill Dock, Kentucky. He was trolling a model 300 Bomber

in Wolf Creek, then about 10 AM as he skirted a shale point, Dave made an historical hookup.

After boating a Goliath bronzeback, Mr. Hayes motored directly to the nearest weigh station

at Wisdom Dock. Here the weight was recorded and witnessed at 11 lbs, 15 oz., however

the scales at Wisdom Dock were not certified. Dave Hayes then returned to the put-in ramp

at Center Hill Dock where certified scales were maintained. Once again the big brute tipped

the scales at 11 lbs, 15 oz., confirming a new world record smallmouth bass. Dave's giant

bass measured 27" in length and was estimated to be 13 years old. According to Mr. Hayes

the fish was taken in Tennessee waters, but the ramp he utilized was located in Kentucky.

Vying for recognition, both Tennessee and Kentucky laid claim to the same world record.

In any event, David Hayes's monster smallmouth shattered the former world record

by nearly 1-1/2 lbs (the former record was 10 lb, 8 oz).

The previous record was taken on October 8, 1950 from Wilson Lake, Alabama just below

Wheeler Dam. Now then, 41 years later in 1996, controversy began to surround Dave's bass.

It seems that an old affidavit was unearthed casting doubt on the record's authenticity.

Sadly, one John Barlow allegedly filed an affidavit stating that unbeknownst to David Hayes

or anyone else, he salted Dave's fish at Center Hill Dock with 3 pounds of weight.

The validity of his affidavit was highly suspect to say the very least. As a result

of the scandal, the IGFA, the Freshwater Hall of Fame and the state of Kentucky

struck the record from their record books.

Closer inspection however uncovered the fact that the affidavit was never signed by

Mr. Barlow, nor was it ever notarized. Then in a twist of fate, after John Barlow's death,

his brother Ira Barlow stepped forwad. Ira stated that his brother John was nowhere

near Cedar Hill Dock during the weigh-in. Ira moreover passed a lie detector test.

He went on to say that the reason for the deposition was that his brother John had an

altercation with Cedar Hill Dock and was no longer welcome there. It was furthermore

learned that the weigh-in at Wisdom Dock was witnessed by Granville Madison and

Oral Burtram, a Kentucky Water Police Officer. In a statement made in front of witnesses,

Mr. Madison recalled the weight of the fish and the approximate time of the weigh-in

at Wisdom Dock. Officer Burtram has since deceased but notes he left indicated that he

witnessed the weigh-in of a smallmouth bass weighing 11 pounds 15 ounces.

It's not unusual for a certified scale and uncertified scale to display similar readings,

especially if the fish was kept alive most of the time.

In the first place, if the bass weighed 3 additional pounds during the certified weigh-in,

it had to lose a third of its body weight between the two weigh-ins, which is not possible.

In the second place, how does someone infiltrate an enthusiastic crowd and insert 3 pounds

of weight to the focal point without being noticed? In the third place, what would motivate

a man to add weight to someone else's fish? In the fourth place, why did he subsequently

come forward to confess his evil deed? In the fifth place, John Barlow did not sign

the affidavit nor was it notarized. In the sixth place, after Mr. Barlow's death his own brother

testified against him. He stated that his brother's deed was motivated by revenge

and that he wasn't anywhere near the weigh-in station. In the seventh place, a 27 long

smallmouth is commensurate to a 12-pound fish. Though it's possible to hide 3 pounds

of weight in a fish that size, how do you stretch the length?

As a result of the enhanced information, the Freshwater Hall of Fame and the IGFA

have reinstated the smallmouth bass world record. The state of Kentucky

is now reconsidering, while the state of Tennessee never wavered on the record.

Roger

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Thanks Roger,I had an article or two about the record,but not one that detailed.

I don't think Cali,Texas,Florida,or Mexico has a shot at this one!So Ha!LOL ;D

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IF YOU CAN GET THE OCTOBER 2005 ISSUE OF "BASSMASTER". THERE IS AN IN DEPTH ARTICLE ON THE SUBJECT.

TAKE A LOOK AT THE PICTURE....YOU'LL BELIEVE!!!

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I have seen the picture.Another amazing thing about this catch is that it was in August!

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Another amazing thing about this catch is that it was in August!

Actually it was July 9th.

This is not surprising as bass are their heaviest of the year during the summer,

only harder to catch. Just like plant life, winter is a slow-growth season for bass.

Making matters worse, the rigors of the spawn follow on the heels of a slow-growth season.

Conventional wisdom holds that a roe-filled cow is at her heaviest of the year.

But fish consume the most during summer when they grow most rapidly

and attain their peak annual weight.

Roger

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Thanks for the correction Rolo.I would still think that a smallmouth would be at its heaviest during the pre-spawn.I thought that they became more inactive during the hot months.I caught one last year during July that weighed 4lbs. 11oz. it was thin.

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The fact that Mr. Hayes has "THE FISH" speaks volumes. I would hope at some point a thorough DNA analysis would be undertaken, comparing this fish with the smallmouth of Dale Hollow in particular, and that of the Cumberland and Tennessee River systems in general. I would think the age of the fish could be easily determined and maybe additional insight will be forthcoming.

Bassmasters deserves most of the credit for having the Hayes World Record reinstated. Without their support and determined investigation I don't think the IGFA would have revaluated their position. That sets the bar pretty high for anyone trying to catch a new record, but it might be out there. I sure hope so!

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I think she's out there RW.The question is can anybody get her in the boat?As far as the DNA comparison,doesn't Dale Hollow ajoin the Cumberland?

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Dale Hollow is a Cumberland River reservior, but like reserviors of the Tennessee River, each impoundment has somewhat unique characteristics and I'm wondering if there is enough isolation at Dale Hollow to have a slighly different DNA profile than the smallmouth of the system as a whole. I don't know if that is possible, but it would be interesting to investigate.

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Billy Westmoreland said that he had the record fish hooked on Dale on Christmas day in the early 80's (he told me the year but I don't remember).  He hooked it on a Pedico Spinnright and had it to the boat 3 times.  He did not have a net in the onboard and the fish finally came unhooked.  In all the years I knew him he never told me a lie and I never saw him lie to anyone else.  I think there is a record Smallmouth swimming in Dale right now.  I also think it will be caught in the Winter.

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I don't dispute the story, but that particular fish is dead.

My partner landed a 10 lb smallmouth in November of 2003, which I netted and weighed. If that fish is still alive, it has the potential to be the next World Record! So, no doubt it is possibel that one or more are out there or will be in the future. The biggest problem is that smallmouth don't live as long in the Mid South as they do in northern waters. They grow much faster, but only live to about ten years of age. That is the main reason we have lots of 5 lb+ smallmouth, but so few over 10 lbs. Ten pounds is huge, but it's also a weight that coincides with life expectancy. A bigger fish is an anomaly.

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I CAUGHT MY BIGGEST SMALLMOUTH (6 LB-15 OZ) ON AUGUST 20, 2003. HERE ON LAKE ST. CLAIR WE CATCH THEM THAT SIZE FROM APRIL THROUGH OCTOBER.

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