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A Long-Lost Photo of George Perry and His World Record Bass?

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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?

Comments (30)

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from smccardell wrote 44 weeks 1 day ago

Can you say photoshop?

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nixstyx wrote 44 weeks 1 day ago

Yeah, that's not real. I can't quite put my finger on it yet, but something looks off. A pretty good photoshop job, but not good enough.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ruckinger2 wrote 44 weeks 1 day ago

Who in the world holds a bass like that, if it squirmed, that thing would be right back in the water and never to be seen again....not real

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from VAHunter540 wrote 44 weeks 1 day ago

Nope it’s a fake, wish it wasn’t but there are just too many little inconsistencies with the photo to be authentic.

I think the second photo could be real though, it may not be Perry's fish but its a damn good bass.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntnow wrote 44 weeks 1 day ago

I'm with ruckinger2. You don't give a fish like that a chance to get back in the water. Also, I've never seen a bass fresh out of the water hold its mouth wide open like that. Was the photographer standing in the lake? BS.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from mspl8sdcntryboy wrote 44 weeks 1 day ago

The man is very hazy looking but the fish is crystal clear, the mans hands are not positioned the way I, or any other man, would hold a fish that size. While I wish there were photos of that fish that surfaced after this much time I don't believe that this is one.
I am proud to live in the only state to hold the Largemouth Bass world record.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from smccardell wrote 44 weeks 1 day ago

Ok so after further examination I still stand by my comment but I think I have nailed one of the things with the picture that isn't right and the one that just makes the picture look so fake. Yes I agree the fish is just too clear, along with the ripples int he water (apparently from the fresh out of the lake bass thats dripping it). If you pay close attention to the leg on the right hand side. It is not proportionate tot he chest and body of the guy holding the "fish". It looks like his torso is shortened. That leg on the right looks aweful thin where his kneee is and where the tail of the fish all come together. The position of the pose is just off as well. And that smile is just creepy.... doesn't look like a smile.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bill4432 wrote 44 weeks 23 hours ago

yeah,
that ain't right. i mean just look at the second picture, with the guy holding the bass and a cigarette in his mouth. you KNOW that's a real photo, crude as it is. the top one looks too good to be true. and if it looks too good to be true, it generally isn't.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from sqrlhntr wrote 44 weeks 19 hours ago

Shopped. I know a pixel when I see it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from skyhunter44 wrote 44 weeks 19 hours ago

for me, the thing that doesn't look right is the mouth wide open on the fish. why would it be open if you weren't holding it by the mouth.
I never saw a photo of a bass with it's mouth open like this one, when the guy was holding it by the body and not by the mouth.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from northtowntv wrote 44 weeks 19 hours ago

comical

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from TheStudMuffin wrote 44 weeks 19 hours ago

Looks to me like someone took a picture of him holding a smaller fish and just photoshopped in a mammoth largemouth. The quality of the image of the fish is just to good for that era. Completely fake.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from k9couple wrote 44 weeks 18 hours ago

...and I have some swamp land on the back of my property that I will sell cheap: $500,000 per acre.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jusdane wrote 44 weeks 17 hours ago

Aside from the already made comments, the fact that the email from which it was sent was immediately deactivated pretty much guarantees it's fake. If someone had a "real" photo and wanted to share, they'd certainly want to be able to prove it's legitimacy.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Edward-George R... wrote 44 weeks 14 hours ago

Ohh Myyy Gawwwwdddd look at the bass color, vs the picture, theres sunlight 'peeking' through where the basses tail should be, {center right}, {oddly same as the 2006 photo}, and lastly, that stomach isn't sagging at all for a 22 pounder!! Good call nixstyx

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tbitler wrote 44 weeks 13 hours ago

Clearly fake. Biggest giveaway, as well as all the others pointed out, is the shadows

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from GuyGene wrote 44 weeks 12 hours ago

Mr. Perry was a Georgian - we do not hold a bass like that! I do like the second photo though.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from CmdrDick wrote 44 weeks 9 hours ago

If the second photo is supposed to be from the 30's, what are the sky scrapers doing in the background? That photo looks more like a 60/70's era shot.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Retired Chief wrote 44 weeks 2 hours ago

Simple- the way the fish is being held, angled head-on towards the camera, so called "Fish P*rn" style is a recent and ridiculous phenomenon. I can't tell you how much I hate that style of photograph, although this one isn't nearly as extreme as most others. I also can't tell you how much I hate the term "Fish P*rn" but that is another topic. I have never seen an old fish photo with the fish being held in that manner. Perry, an old country boy who ate his world record bass, PROBABLY would not have been interested in trying to pose for an artificially dramatic photo. Add to that all the other inconsistencies already mentioned. The photo is a load of cr*p.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from woodpecker wrote 44 weeks 2 hours ago

Here's the skinny on this. It was during the great depression and Georgia was hit harder than most states and so this little sham was concocted. A cardboard cut out of an enlarged bass {from a lure advertisement} by the way and a little water poured out of an old beer bottle behind the cut out to make it look like he just caught it. They were all in on it and they figured, heck, we've got to do something to jump start the economy and who can say how many big fish are in there? Now you know.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ronald Kangas wrote 44 weeks 1 hour ago

Maybe there should be two lists of records? Records from a time when there wasn't proper documentation and another, records from a later time when proper documentation was necessary

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tarcticus wrote 43 weeks 6 days ago

While the photo is suspicious as having been digitally manipulated, I would hope that it would be submitted to someone forensically trained to analyze these types of things.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bigd7400 wrote 43 weeks 6 days ago

ok, so the guy in the pic is wearing a rubber boot on his left foot (picture right) and clearly no boot on his right foot (picture left). Also "fishy" is who took the pic? Were they standing in the water or in a boat? Food for thought.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ffsnuffy wrote 43 weeks 6 days ago

I think what makes a legend a true legend is that there rarely is any complete facts about the story. It is one with just enough fact and mystery to make our minds wonder. It would be nice to have the photo identified and verified to be 100%. But I am ok with the mystery. It inspires people to catch a fish to surpass the record.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from captom wrote 43 weeks 6 days ago

The "new" photo of Perry seems fishy. The boot on the left leg appears to me to be in a very deep shadow --inconsistent with the sunny back of right leg and weak shadow on the front of the Perry's right leg. From the light shadow on his face created by the hat and the kneeling right leg, the sun appears to be almost directly above and a little behind him. However, from the shadow of the boot and the sunlight peaking over the top of the foot the sun appears to be more to the left side of the photo. The area under the fish has lost detail and doesn't seem to fit. I would say this is a composite photo.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Renae Wilcox wrote 43 weeks 4 days ago

Idk where folks are seeing skyscrapers in the background of the photo with the child. Maybe I'm blind. The fish in the first photo looks like it has been dead a while. So that would explain holding it like that, mouth open, etc. No one had a camera handy in those days while fishing, so I think the photo would have been taken later. However, unless taken by a pretty serious photographer, it seems to have light coming from more than one direction, which wouldn't have happened naturally. The sun is directly behind the man, thus his shadow straight toward camera. So how did the photographer light up just the bottom of the man's face and all of the inside of the fish's mouth (flash powder/bulb must have been super-directional?) without filling in other shadows on the front of making shadows cast back. I suppose it is possible but seems unlikely.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Renae Wilcox wrote 43 weeks 4 days ago

Idk where folks are seeing skyscrapers in the background of the photo with the child. Maybe I'm blind. The fish in the first photo looks like it has been dead a while. So that would explain holding it like that, mouth open, etc. No one had a camera handy in those days while fishing, so I think the photo would have been taken later. However, unless taken by a pretty serious photographer, it seems to have light coming from more than one direction, which wouldn't have happened naturally. The sun is directly behind the man, thus his shadow straight toward camera. So how did the photographer light up just the bottom of the man's face and all of the inside of the fish's mouth (flash powder/bulb must have been super-directional?) without filling in other shadows on the front of making shadows cast back. I suppose it is possible but seems unlikely.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Paul Bip wrote 43 weeks 4 days ago

Everybody is missing the obvious. When have you ever seen a fishes mouth open like that naturally?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from stick500 wrote 43 weeks 4 days ago

I must admit that the first one is a valiant effort on the photoshoppers part, but there is nothing phony looking about the second one.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Drew McClure wrote 43 weeks 4 days ago

I need to start weighing the fish I pull out of the Arkansas River, because I've pulled out bass with 2 of medium sized bass a little longer than the one pictured in comfortably digesting in the keeper sized stomach, and that was out of a crappie, some of the bass look more like boar sized groupers. Salut.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from smccardell wrote 44 weeks 1 day ago

Can you say photoshop?

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nixstyx wrote 44 weeks 1 day ago

Yeah, that's not real. I can't quite put my finger on it yet, but something looks off. A pretty good photoshop job, but not good enough.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from VAHunter540 wrote 44 weeks 1 day ago

Nope it’s a fake, wish it wasn’t but there are just too many little inconsistencies with the photo to be authentic.

I think the second photo could be real though, it may not be Perry's fish but its a damn good bass.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from TheStudMuffin wrote 44 weeks 19 hours ago

Looks to me like someone took a picture of him holding a smaller fish and just photoshopped in a mammoth largemouth. The quality of the image of the fish is just to good for that era. Completely fake.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ruckinger2 wrote 44 weeks 1 day ago

Who in the world holds a bass like that, if it squirmed, that thing would be right back in the water and never to be seen again....not real

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bill4432 wrote 44 weeks 23 hours ago

yeah,
that ain't right. i mean just look at the second picture, with the guy holding the bass and a cigarette in his mouth. you KNOW that's a real photo, crude as it is. the top one looks too good to be true. and if it looks too good to be true, it generally isn't.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from GuyGene wrote 44 weeks 12 hours ago

Mr. Perry was a Georgian - we do not hold a bass like that! I do like the second photo though.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Retired Chief wrote 44 weeks 2 hours ago

Simple- the way the fish is being held, angled head-on towards the camera, so called "Fish P*rn" style is a recent and ridiculous phenomenon. I can't tell you how much I hate that style of photograph, although this one isn't nearly as extreme as most others. I also can't tell you how much I hate the term "Fish P*rn" but that is another topic. I have never seen an old fish photo with the fish being held in that manner. Perry, an old country boy who ate his world record bass, PROBABLY would not have been interested in trying to pose for an artificially dramatic photo. Add to that all the other inconsistencies already mentioned. The photo is a load of cr*p.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from tarcticus wrote 43 weeks 6 days ago

While the photo is suspicious as having been digitally manipulated, I would hope that it would be submitted to someone forensically trained to analyze these types of things.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ffsnuffy wrote 43 weeks 6 days ago

I think what makes a legend a true legend is that there rarely is any complete facts about the story. It is one with just enough fact and mystery to make our minds wonder. It would be nice to have the photo identified and verified to be 100%. But I am ok with the mystery. It inspires people to catch a fish to surpass the record.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntnow wrote 44 weeks 1 day ago

I'm with ruckinger2. You don't give a fish like that a chance to get back in the water. Also, I've never seen a bass fresh out of the water hold its mouth wide open like that. Was the photographer standing in the lake? BS.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from mspl8sdcntryboy wrote 44 weeks 1 day ago

The man is very hazy looking but the fish is crystal clear, the mans hands are not positioned the way I, or any other man, would hold a fish that size. While I wish there were photos of that fish that surfaced after this much time I don't believe that this is one.
I am proud to live in the only state to hold the Largemouth Bass world record.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from smccardell wrote 44 weeks 1 day ago

Ok so after further examination I still stand by my comment but I think I have nailed one of the things with the picture that isn't right and the one that just makes the picture look so fake. Yes I agree the fish is just too clear, along with the ripples int he water (apparently from the fresh out of the lake bass thats dripping it). If you pay close attention to the leg on the right hand side. It is not proportionate tot he chest and body of the guy holding the "fish". It looks like his torso is shortened. That leg on the right looks aweful thin where his kneee is and where the tail of the fish all come together. The position of the pose is just off as well. And that smile is just creepy.... doesn't look like a smile.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from sqrlhntr wrote 44 weeks 19 hours ago

Shopped. I know a pixel when I see it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from skyhunter44 wrote 44 weeks 19 hours ago

for me, the thing that doesn't look right is the mouth wide open on the fish. why would it be open if you weren't holding it by the mouth.
I never saw a photo of a bass with it's mouth open like this one, when the guy was holding it by the body and not by the mouth.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from northtowntv wrote 44 weeks 19 hours ago

comical

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from k9couple wrote 44 weeks 18 hours ago

...and I have some swamp land on the back of my property that I will sell cheap: $500,000 per acre.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jusdane wrote 44 weeks 17 hours ago

Aside from the already made comments, the fact that the email from which it was sent was immediately deactivated pretty much guarantees it's fake. If someone had a "real" photo and wanted to share, they'd certainly want to be able to prove it's legitimacy.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Edward-George R... wrote 44 weeks 14 hours ago

Ohh Myyy Gawwwwdddd look at the bass color, vs the picture, theres sunlight 'peeking' through where the basses tail should be, {center right}, {oddly same as the 2006 photo}, and lastly, that stomach isn't sagging at all for a 22 pounder!! Good call nixstyx

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tbitler wrote 44 weeks 13 hours ago

Clearly fake. Biggest giveaway, as well as all the others pointed out, is the shadows

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from CmdrDick wrote 44 weeks 9 hours ago

If the second photo is supposed to be from the 30's, what are the sky scrapers doing in the background? That photo looks more like a 60/70's era shot.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from woodpecker wrote 44 weeks 2 hours ago

Here's the skinny on this. It was during the great depression and Georgia was hit harder than most states and so this little sham was concocted. A cardboard cut out of an enlarged bass {from a lure advertisement} by the way and a little water poured out of an old beer bottle behind the cut out to make it look like he just caught it. They were all in on it and they figured, heck, we've got to do something to jump start the economy and who can say how many big fish are in there? Now you know.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ronald Kangas wrote 44 weeks 1 hour ago

Maybe there should be two lists of records? Records from a time when there wasn't proper documentation and another, records from a later time when proper documentation was necessary

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bigd7400 wrote 43 weeks 6 days ago

ok, so the guy in the pic is wearing a rubber boot on his left foot (picture right) and clearly no boot on his right foot (picture left). Also "fishy" is who took the pic? Were they standing in the water or in a boat? Food for thought.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from captom wrote 43 weeks 6 days ago

The "new" photo of Perry seems fishy. The boot on the left leg appears to me to be in a very deep shadow --inconsistent with the sunny back of right leg and weak shadow on the front of the Perry's right leg. From the light shadow on his face created by the hat and the kneeling right leg, the sun appears to be almost directly above and a little behind him. However, from the shadow of the boot and the sunlight peaking over the top of the foot the sun appears to be more to the left side of the photo. The area under the fish has lost detail and doesn't seem to fit. I would say this is a composite photo.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Renae Wilcox wrote 43 weeks 4 days ago

Idk where folks are seeing skyscrapers in the background of the photo with the child. Maybe I'm blind. The fish in the first photo looks like it has been dead a while. So that would explain holding it like that, mouth open, etc. No one had a camera handy in those days while fishing, so I think the photo would have been taken later. However, unless taken by a pretty serious photographer, it seems to have light coming from more than one direction, which wouldn't have happened naturally. The sun is directly behind the man, thus his shadow straight toward camera. So how did the photographer light up just the bottom of the man's face and all of the inside of the fish's mouth (flash powder/bulb must have been super-directional?) without filling in other shadows on the front of making shadows cast back. I suppose it is possible but seems unlikely.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Renae Wilcox wrote 43 weeks 4 days ago

Idk where folks are seeing skyscrapers in the background of the photo with the child. Maybe I'm blind. The fish in the first photo looks like it has been dead a while. So that would explain holding it like that, mouth open, etc. No one had a camera handy in those days while fishing, so I think the photo would have been taken later. However, unless taken by a pretty serious photographer, it seems to have light coming from more than one direction, which wouldn't have happened naturally. The sun is directly behind the man, thus his shadow straight toward camera. So how did the photographer light up just the bottom of the man's face and all of the inside of the fish's mouth (flash powder/bulb must have been super-directional?) without filling in other shadows on the front of making shadows cast back. I suppose it is possible but seems unlikely.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Paul Bip wrote 43 weeks 4 days ago

Everybody is missing the obvious. When have you ever seen a fishes mouth open like that naturally?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from stick500 wrote 43 weeks 4 days ago

I must admit that the first one is a valiant effort on the photoshoppers part, but there is nothing phony looking about the second one.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Drew McClure wrote 43 weeks 4 days ago

I need to start weighing the fish I pull out of the Arkansas River, because I've pulled out bass with 2 of medium sized bass a little longer than the one pictured in comfortably digesting in the keeper sized stomach, and that was out of a crappie, some of the bass look more like boar sized groupers. Salut.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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