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roadwarrior

The World Record Story, Facts and Pictures

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That is a freakishly big smallmouth

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It is a freak and that is why it is so unlikely a new record will ever be caught. There are only a handfull of 10s that have been recorded.  The biggest fish behind the Hayes' smallmouth is 10 lb 14 oz, 1 lb 1 oz smaller. In order to break the World Record, the IGFA rules require two additional ounces or in this case 12 lb 1 oz. The only way that is going to happen is if someone lands a 10 something that recently gorged itself on a 1-2 lb skip jack

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Why do so many people think that there has to be some lead up in terms of gradual weights? I remember only last year a green fish that was 3 lbs bigger than a current record and 4 lbs bigger than anything caught in years.

I believe there is a smallie or two out there (probably more than that) which are record fish, they just haven't been caught.

No doubt in MY mind, it's out there...     ;)

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I don't think there has to be a "lead up," but I think there needs to be a "pool" of potential candidates. In California there seem to be a number of 20 lb bass, several of which are believed to be 22 lb 4 oz or better. One or more of those have been caught and will probably be caught again this year or next, at least that is a possibility.

Smallmout bass populations are different. The "pool" of 10 lb bass is minute and a fish must weight 10 lbs at some point in its life if it is ever going to reach 12. I'm not sure there are enough 10 lb bronzebacks to produce a World Record fish. David Hayes caught a freak of nature, but Keith, you may be right. Perhaps someday Mother Nature will create another.

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I went through some old magazines recently, found a Bassmaster from 1997 that had an article about possible World record Smallies. In the article it gave a story by Billy Westmoreland, he said one Christmas eve he hooked a big one, got it to the boat 3 different times but couldn't get it netted. He swore that the fish had to be close to 15lbs.

I believe there is another World record out there, in fact I think there is several. I agree somewhat with Roadwarriors theory but consider this. Your basing Largemouth and Smallmouth "pools" on whats been caught but consider the green fish for many, many years has been the more sought after fish. Until rather recently the smallie has been "step-kid" in terms of mainstream exposure. Yeah sure Smallies have always had hardcore"fans" the anglers that really know what they are about, but they haven't had the number of anglers after them either. JMHO

Something else to throw out there also, I've always been skeptical about the record. Look at the fishs gut, it looks full of eggs to me. The fish was caught in July, I realize smallies "can" spawn several times a season but the fish is obviously an old fish, don't older fish slow down in terms of spawning in old age?

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BANG,

David Hayes has been a solid guy his whole life and has maintained claim to the record for 52 years. Facts and gossip have been thoroughly reviewed. Bassmaster Magazine investigated every aspect of this controversy and then the IGFA dug into  it even more deeply. They are satisfied with the documentation and so am I.

(It doesn't hurt his case either that David Hayes has the actual fish!)

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RW, I obviously don't "know" one way or the other, I wasn't there in 1955, few were. My doubts are based more on what I see than what I've read. But to add to that I'm not accusing anybody of anything, and I'm not suggesting to dismiss the record.

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Well, I understand what you're saying about the physical appearance of the fish, it doesn't look much like any smallmouth I have ever seen, either. However, the "species" or the fact that this is THE FISH David Hayes caught has NEVER been in question. All of the controversy has revolved around the actual weight and accusations of inflating that weight by adding lead to the fish. Those charges have been found to lack substance and the preponderance of evidence has led to the certification of this fish as The World Record.

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I was just reading some of my Bassmaster magazines where they discuss the case of Mr. Hayes bass.  First off, that fish is a WHOPPER smallie!  I was reading the investigation that they did, and some of the fan mail sent, and out of all of the readers who responded in the next issue after the investigation story was published, every one of them said that the smallmouth should be reinstated.  Fortunately for Mr. Hayes and the smallmouth community, it was reinstated, and rightfully so, I believe.  Anytime there is a world record bass, or anything close to it, there is going to be controversy.  

Bassmaster magazine did one great job documenting the case and laying out the facts and evidence for all to see.  

As far as other records, I'll bet they are out there, it's just a matter of when or where.  I believe the new smallie record will come from a lake like Dale Hollow, and in my opinion, it will probably be caught at night.

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I went through some old magazines recently, found a Bassmaster from 1997 that had an article about possible World record Smallies. In the article it gave a story by Billy Westmoreland, he said one Christmas eve he hooked a big one, got it to the boat 3 different times but couldn't get it netted. He swore that the fish had to be close to 15lbs."

I heard my good frend Billy tell this story many times over the years.  He hooked the fish on a Petigo Spin-Rite.  Thus the making of the lure Marabou Spinn by Top Shelf Lures.  He didn't have a net in the boat.  He sad as he brought the fish to the boat it just seem to   open its mouth and the lure came out.

Kelley

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I will have to say if there is going to be a new world record smallie it will have to come from the handford reach area on the columbia river.  Some of you are asking why would he say that?  The reason is the the exisiting world record looks like it grew up by a nuclear plant.  And guess what there happens to be a one right there on the columbia river.   That may be the only way that there is going to be a new record smallie ;D ;D ;D ;D

RW makes a great point that there doesn't seem to be the stock for a new world record.  There are several 7,8 and a few nines I hear about being caught every year but not really that many if any 10's or larger.  So with out that brude stock how can one really think that a new WR will be coming any time soon?

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