Arkansas' 36-year-old largemouth bass record has fallen, and the new No. 1 edged the former by a mere ounce.
According to KATV, Paul Crowder of Forrest City, Ark., caught this 16-pound, 5-ounce bass at Lake Dunn, beating the previous 16-pound, 4-ounce record caught by Memphis native Aaron Mardis on March 2, 1976, on Mallard Lake in Mississippi County.
The catch almost got away, and if it hadn't been for his quick thinking, Crowder would be down one rod.
"I made a cast and set the rod down to take a look at my catfish rods when I noticed the rod was just about out of the boat," he said. "I was able to grab it just before it went out of the boat."
After about eight minutes of fighting -- plus several attempts at landing the big bass without a net -- Crowder had the new state record in his boat.
Crowder caught the big lunker -- which measured 26 1/2 inches long with a 22 3/4-inch girth -- on Feb. 28 with an Enigma rod and reel combo, using a Mann's jelly worm with a bullet sinker and plastic rattle in tequila sunrise on Trilene 14-pound test line.
The fish was certified by Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Fisheries Biologist Lee Holt using a certified scale at Hayes Market in Wynne, Ark. AGFC officials said the fish will be tested to determine what genetic strain the bass is.
"We are going to take samples to determine if the fish is a pure northern strain or if it has Florida bass genetics," said Assistant Chief of Fisheries Chris Racey.
Two largemouths share the world all-tackle record of 22 pounds, 4 ounces, according to the International Game Fish Association. The first was caught by George W. Perry on June 2, 1932, at Montgomery Lake in Georgia. The second was caught by Manabu Kurita on July 2, 2009, at Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture, Japan.