On Feb. 12, Nick Dulleck caught what is primed to be an all-tackle world-record spotted bass in northern California’s New Bullards Bar Reservoir. According to Bassmaster, the catch weighed 11 pounds 4 ounces, besting the current world record—caught in the same body of water in 2015—by less than a pound.
Before heading out that day, Dulleck, a 33-year-old from San Jose, Calif., believed that the reservoir held a record spotted bass, but thought that his odds of catching it were “1 in a million.”
On the first day of their trip to the reservoir, Dulleck and his fishing partner Adam McAndrews boated just two small bass. That night, Dulleck spooled his reels with heavier line than he had been using, just in case. The big bass, which measured 24.5 inches long with a 20.75-inch girth, hit at about 10 a.m.
“It was a moment of shock when we knew how big it was,” Dulleck told Bassmaster. “Adam netted her and pulled her on the back of the deck. …I said, ‘That might be it.’ He’s like, ‘That might be it.’ I doubted myself. ‘Maybe not, but either way it’s a giant.’ He said, ‘No, that’s it. That’s the world record.’”
In an Instagram post, Dulleck later wrote, “After bass fishing for [20-plus years], I am proud to share this because it proves if you set a goal and dream big you truly can achieve anything.”
Dulleck said he’s “99.9 percent” certain the fish will be certified as a world record.