June 13, 2013
A Long-Lost Photo of George Perry and His World Record Bass?
By Ben Romans
On a June day in 1932, George W. Perry was fishing the waters of Georgia’s Montgomery Lake with friend Jack Page when he caught a legendary bass—a 22 pound, 4 ounce largemouth that has maintained an 81-year reign as the world-record. Compounding both the mythic status of the man and the fish is the fact that no definitive photo of the two together were known to exist—until now.
Last week, a photo of Perry holding a large bass was emailed to Augusta Chronicle outdoor writer Bill Baab from a man claiming to be a descendant of Jack Page. It landed in Baab’s inbox with a simple message, “Happy Anniversary.”
In an Augusta Chronicle article, Baab, who wrote the book "Remembering George W. Perry," says the sender said the photo was found in a family barn in Florida, but would not reveal further details. When Baab tried to follow up, he received an automated reply saying the email account was deactivated.
While Baab is certain the man in the photo is indeed Perry, and he’s holding a large bass, it might not be the bass.
Perry’s story is that after catching the fish, he measured it at a local grocery store and weighed it at a nearby post office, then ate the fillets over the next two nights. After the fact, he submitted an application to a Field & Stream fishing contest, one that didn’t require photo evidence, and won.
Before he died in a plane crash in 1974, correspondence from Perry hinted that there were only two photos ever taken of the fish, but he didn’t know their fate. Fast forward to 2006 when a photo of a mystery man supposedly holding the record fish surfaced. The landscaping in the background is reportedly similiar to the area around the post office where the fish was weighed. Baab has said he believes that photograph is genuine, but is withholding judgment on this latest find.
Alleged photo of Perry's bass with an unidentified man and child that surfaced in 2006.
So what do you think—based soley on appearance, is the new photo genuine?