New Tennessee State Record Bass caught, Sort Of...

Thursday, October 22, 2009
A TWRA fisheries employees holds up what would be a new Tennessee state record largemouth if it had been caught on rod & reel.
A TWRA fisheries employees holds up what would be a new Tennessee state record largemouth if it had been caught on rod & reel.
- photo by TWRA

There is a new Tennessee largemouth bass record, but it will never end up in the record books.

Veteran outdoor communicator Larry Rea of Memphis broke the story about the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency electroshocking a 16 pound, 15 ounce largemouth bass. The bass -- if caught by an angler -- would easily break the existing state record of 14 pounds, 8 ounces caught in Sugar Creek in Lawrence County on Oct. 17, 1954. It is the oldest existing state record and ironically the fish "shocked" came within four days of the 55th anniversary of James 'Logue' Barnett's state record.

Rea writes that the fish came from Brown's Creek Lake, a 167-acre lake located in Henderson County about 10
miles from I-40 in the Natchez Trace State Park.

Dave Rizzuto, a Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency fisheries biologist
based out of the Region 1 office in Jackson, confirmed the lake's site
Thursday morning, saying "I knew it would get out sooner or later. It's
hard to keep something like this a secret."

The fish was in one of the public TWRA lakes in West Tennessee, although they won't say exactly which one. TWRA biologists do the electroshocking survey as part of its annual biological assessment of the public lakes it manages.

Read that again: 16 pounds, 15 ounces. Amazing.

The Tennessee lunker would be larger than the existing Alabama record (16-8), which was caught in a private lake. Mississippi's record (18.15) came from Natchez State Park Lake. Georgia's, of course, is also the world mark of 22-4 set by George Perry decades ago.

Dave Gabbard, TWRA Region 1 information officer said biologists weighed the big fish on two sets of scales to verify its weight. It's length measured 28 inches.

Gabbard said the fish was among hundreds caught in the procedure, which the TWRA does annually in October on its nine agency lakes.
State-agency managed lakes are Brown's Creek, Carroll Lake, Garrett Lake, Gibson County lake, Glenn Springs Lake, Herb Parsons Lake, Lake Graham, Maples Creek Lake and Whiteville Lake.

"They took a fin clip and a scale for DNA and age and released it back into the lake," Gabbard said.

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