Editor's Note: On Wednesday, March 7 we posted a gallery of photos and the story of a new state-record largemouth bass caught in Arkansas. Since then, the fish was disqualified when officials discovered the angler who caught it did not have a valid fishing license. Steven Hill, who wrote the original story for F&S, contacted the angler and the state game and fish commission today. Here’s what he learned:
by Steven Hill
The new state record largemouth bass announced last week by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has been wiped off the books after AGFC officials learned that Forrest City angler Paul Crowder bought his fishing license after the fish was caught.
The commission announced the new record on its website in early March. On Friday, March 9, the AGFC made the following announcement in a press release posted to the site:
“The AGFC discovered that a license was purchased for Crowder three hours after he claimed to have caught the bass. Crowder’s fishing license expired in April 2011. Under AGFC regulations, it is illegal for any person 16 years of age or older to fish without possessing a current Arkansas fishing license. State record fish rules require that an angler hold a valid license at the time of the catch.”
Reached by phone Monday, Crowder did not dispute those facts.
“My license wasn’t current,” Crowder said. “It was just an oversight.”
Crowder said he took the fish to AGFC officials not knowing that his license was expired. “I sent my friend to the store with my driver’s license and she got me a set of licenses, because we was having to wait three or four hours to get the fish weighed,” Crowder said.