World-Record Bass-Catcher Skunked on American Soil

Proving that even famous fishermen have bad luck, the Japanese angler who recently caught the world-record-tying largemouth bass visited California - and got skunked fishing.

From the story in the San Diego Union-Tribune:
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Manabu Kurita of Aichi, Japan, joined fishing royalty when he tied legendary George Perry's 77-year-old largemouth bass record last year. But here in San Diego last week, Kurita was just another angler struggling to catch a fish in some tough bass fishing lakes. Kurita was the weekend guest of Ramona's Mike Long, the former Poway angler who owns several lake records for a variety of species. Long has knocked on bass fishing history's door a few times, but it was Kurita who broke through July 2 when he landed a 22-pound, 5-ounce bass from Lake Biwa in Japan.

__It tied Perry's mark of 22 pounds, 4 ounces because it didn't break the record by more than two ounces. Long took Kurita, 32, and a writer from Japan's Rod and Reel Magazine to El Capitan, Hodges and Cuyamaca. Kurita blanked at all three lakes. "Not one fish," Long said. "I found out a lot about him, and he's one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. But he wants to throw live bait. When he saw some guys catching bluegill at Hodges, he wanted to catch some and use them for bait. I had to tell him it's illegal to do that here."_

The world-record largemouth has always been described as the "million dollar fish" for all the endorsement deals it would generate for the angler who caught it, but Kurita is apparently still waiting for that...
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Long said Kurita has received very little recognition in Japan for tying Perry's record. "I learned that the bass record really is an American record," Long said. "He said he hasn't made a cent off catching it. He has these life-size posters of him with the fish that he's selling for $20. But it's not like anyone handed him a ton of money."_