Special Report: The Latest On The Would-Be Record Largemouth

The bass world is abuzz again with reports of a new world-record largemouth bass. But this time the news is not from southern California, where Mac Weakley famously foul-hooked the 25-pound, 1-ounce Dixon Lake behemoth in 2006 and where, it's been widely assumed, the record was bound to come from. Instead, as we reported late Thursday afternoon, it appears that the new No. 1, a reported 22-pound, 5-ounce giant, has been caught on the other side of the planet by Depps Tackle Co. pro-staffer Manabu Kurita, form Lake Biwa in the Shiga Prefecture of Japan.

If this fish's reported weight holds up, Kurita's 29.4-inch giant is 1 ounce heavier than George Perry's 77-year-old, 22-pound, 4-ounce record. But Perry's record will not fall; it'll just have to make some room at No. 1--because International Game and Fish Association regulations require new world records of fish 25 pounds or less to weigh two ounces more than the previous one.

Here are latest reports, reaction, and video:

From the San Diego Union Tribune
"It looks like the real deal," said San Diego County bass angler Mike Long, recognized as one of the top big-bass anglers in the world and who has been chasing the world record for nearly 16 years. . . .

_Lake Biwa is Japan's largest lake and covers more than 259 square miles. It also is 4 million to 5 million years old, one of the 20 oldest lakes in the world. Its crystal-clear water is more than 300 feet deep and is home to Biwako giant catfish, ayu, Biwa trout (salmon) and more than 50 species unique to the fishery.

In recent years, Japanese officials have reacted to concerns by commercial fishermen there and have attempted to eliminate invasive species from Biwa. Black bass, or largemouth bass, along with bluegill, are at the top of the invasives list. The Lake Biwa Museum Restaurant features largemouth bass on its menu._

From the Jackson Clarion Ledger:
It bothers me that a catch from a country that basically shuns the largemouth as an invasive non-native species could be a world record for one of our most beloved game fish.

_[B]iologists view bass on Lake Biwa [the way] our biologists . . . think of flying silver carp that is now threatening native fish - and boaters in the Mississippi River and its connected waters. . . .

Over here, the silver carp are trash fish. Over there, the largemouth bass, despite a growing legion of bass fishermen, is a trash fish. So it just ain't right.
_
Video: from YouTube . . .
. . . which you may especially like if you happen to speak Japanese.