Big Bass Contest 2004

The new world record got away, but anglers both famous and unknown made history.

Field & Stream Online Editors

A new world-record largemouth bass, meaning one at least 2 ounces heavier than George Perry's 22-pound 4-ounce monster caught in 1932, is still out there. We're convinced Perry's record will fall soon. In our March 2004 issue we announced a big-bass contest and offered a $50,000 reward* for a new record catch. As yet, no one has claimed the prize.

As part of the same contest, we also said we'd recognize those anglers who set International Game Fish Association (IGFA) state line-class records for largemouths between March 1 and June 30, 2004 (for complete rules, information, and a record-application form, see fieldandstream.com). As this issue went to press, these eight anglers have had their catches IGFA-approved for that interval. We congratulate them.

The range of participants is terrific. On one hand, we've got Ray Scott, perhaps the most recognizable bass fisherman, setting a line-class record for Alabama with a 7-pound 9-ounce bass taken on 4-pound-test line. Meanwhile, Barbara Harp hasn't been headline news in any fishing magazine, but she has set an Arizona record with a 2-pound 8-ounce largemouth, also taken on 4-pound-test. In general, the winners are regular fishing folks who with a little skill and luck have managed to set a record. If evidence were needed that bass fishing is a great equalizer, this surely is it.

* The grand-prize package included a Yamaha V MAX 150-horsepower outboard valued at $10,500, a Ranger 185VS bass boat valued at $24,500, and $15,000 in cash.

Ray Scott :|: Alabama
Place: President's Lake
Weight: 7 pounds 9 ounces
Length: 21.37 inches
Girth: 17.2 inches
Lure or Bait: Watermelon soft-plastic worm
Line Class: 02 kg (4 lb)
Date Caught: 6/5/04

** Barbara Harp :|: Arizona**
Place: Colorado River
Weight: 2 pounds 8 ounces
Length: 17.5 inches
Girth: 11 inches
Lure or Bait: Minnow
Line Class: 02 kg (4 lb)
Date Caught: 3/2/04

[NEXT "See More Winners..."]
Tony Bacchi Jr. :|: Massachusetts
Place: Spectacle Pond
Weight: 5 pounds 7 ounces
Length: 20 inches
Girth: 19.25 inches
Lure or Bait: Yamamoto Senko
Line Class: 10 kg (20 lb)
Date Caught: 4/19/04

Vaun C. Cummins Jr. :|: Kentucky
Place: Pointe Lake
Weight: 3 pounds 8 ounces
Length: 17 inches
Girth: 13 inches
Lure or Bait: Soft-plastic worm
Line Class: 6 kg (12 lb)
Date Caught: 5/21/04

Craig Wyrick :|: North Carolina
Place: Alamance County
Weight: 4 pounds
Length: 19.25 inches
Girth: 15 inches
Lure or Bait: Soft-plastic worm
Line Class: 6 kg (12 lb)
Date Caught: 6/24/04

[NEXT "See More Winners..."] Warren Neal Dillard :|: Georgia
Place: Fort Stewart
Weight: 12 pounds 6 ounces
Length: 24.75 inches
Girth: Unavailable
Lure or Bait: Zoom Red Bug
Line Class: 6 kg (12 lb)
Date Caught: 3/7/04

Doug Cavin :|: Nebraska
Place: Reservoir
Weight: 3 pounds
Length: 16.75 inches
Girth: 13 inches
Lure or Bait: Live minnow
Line Class: 10 kg (20 lb)
Date Caught: 5//10/04

Jeff Graham :|: Alabama
Place: Wilderness Lake
Weight: 10 pounds 8 ounces
Length: 20 inches
Girth: 20 inches
Lure or Bait: Soft-plastic trick worm
Line Class: 6 kg (12 lb)
Date Caught: 4/3/04