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Bass Fishing Largemouth Bass State Records Tennessee

Possible Tennessee Record Largemouth Caught, Released

by Dylan Polk   |  February 2nd, 2012 16

courtesy of

A possible record-breaking largemouth came out of Tennessee’s Pickwick Lake — and chances are, it’s still there.

Lance Walker, CEO of Browning Eyewear, landed a monster 14.58 pound bass that measured at 27 1/8 inches with a 24-inch girth.

But the big bass won’t be hanging on Walker’s wall anytime soon, as Walker decided to release the fish back into the lake.

According to Wired 2 Fish, Walker hit Pickwick Lake with his friend, Ray Rittenhour, with the intent of catching a few crappie, but rains and rising, muddy waters made crappie fishing a bust.

The pair decided to try their hand at bass fishing, and after landing a striper, Walker hooked what he believed to be another striper or a huge catfish on his 7-foot, 6-inch heavy action Duckett Micro Magic rod with 65-pound Bass Pro Shops braid and a 6:4.1 Johnny Morris Signature BPS reel.

But after taking the line back and forth for a while, Walker finally got a good look at the fish at about 25 yards out, thumbing the spool before finally getting the fish up to the boat, knowing instantly he was dealing with a 10-pound class fish.

RELATED CONTENT: 2012 Tennessee Fishing Calendar

“As soon as Ray grabbed her by the lip with two hands and pulled her in the boat, I knew I had a fish bigger than the 13.3 I caught from Alabama waters on Pickwick three years ago,” Walker said. “I got the livewell filled up and put her in there and then took about 10 minutes to ‘freak out.'”

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Walker’s wife and son, and a few Pickwick State Park rangers, met up with Walker on shore, where they got pictures and put the fish on some reliable scales. The bass weighed in at 14.58 pounds — just over the 14-pound, 8-ounce bass caught in 1954. However, a TWRA official told them over the phone that he would need blood samples, dorsal fin clippings, two witnesses and certified scales to verify the record.

Rather than kill the fish, Walker made the tough decision to set the bass free, and giving others the opportunity to reel in the big bass. So if you’re down in Pickwick Lake, don’t mess around; there’s a state-record contender in those waters.

  • joe foxall

    Cool Guy

    • Kentucky Norm

      Good decision Lance! You are a TRUE sportsman. Thanks.

  • Dan


  • Rick

    Kudo's to you Lance! I now am a fan of Browning Eyewear!

  • jerry, al

    Well done

  • David

    With all that handling, the fish may die anyways……if you are not going to keep a fish just take a good picture with a measuring tape and put it right back in the water. All the stress of going in and out of a livewell, weighing and time out of the natural environment put a ton of stress on a fish of that size, especially after wearing them down to get them into the boat. If you choose to put the fish in the livewell you should just go ahead and keep it.

  • dick betts

    A good display of sportsmanship,I hope it is successful and the fish survives.I am sure Pickwick will be very busy this year

  • Brian

    Hey David, he took good care of the fish so keeping the fish is not the right thing to do!!!!!

  • Big Bass Lew

    David, we need fish like this to reproduce. Even if the fish has 1% chance of survival that is still better than zero if he kept it.

  • Thomas Sciandra

    he has the measurements and the pic to prove it,get a replica made to hang on the wall!

  • Tommy

    8/100 of an ounce is to close to call. If he wanted the state record then proper procedures should have been followed. I agree with David, the fish probably had a lot of stress and suffered from it.

    As far as I'm concerned the state record still holds at 14lbs 8 oz.

    Still a nice fish the guy caught though.

  • Mark Martin

    I salute him for the decision, character counts!

  • RICK

    way to Lance, true sportsman. need more like you. i caught a 8 ib. small mouth on cherokee lake on 2-28-11, on 4 lb test , took pictures ,weighed her,and released. it takes big fish to produce big fish. THANKS,RICK

  • John Doe

    I can't have nothing!

  • rookie517

    tough decision.but great one



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