Friday, January 15, 2010

Musing Black Bass of All Things

I must confess it's been awhile since bass, any sort of bass, occupied much of my thinking and even less, my fishing days. But I guess since I sort of grew up fishing smallmouth (the crick ran literally through our small northeastern PA town was infested)and for a time spent a good deal of the late summer and early fall fishing bass around PA and ME and southern Canada I've never quite been able to completely let the idea go.

A few years ago we did a book on some of the great fishing spots around the region (On the Fly Rocky Mountains) so I was excited to include whatever bass fishing I could simply because once more I'd get to chase the rascals. It turned out just as much fun as I'd imagined and vowed to do more in the future...Alas hasn't happened but hopefully there is still time so...

Anyway I can hardly stand to watch (even think of) the so-called pros in their ridiculous patch laden jumpsuits and glitzy bass boats most of which I'm sure cost way more than our first house...Why? Hell I don't really know maybe just because of the message sent...you know all about roaring here and racing over there, catch the limit as fast as humanly possible and at any cost. No way of even thinking of competing unless you are willing and able to spring for the biggest fastest machine...No way the entire circus ever even mentions let alone preaches the concepts of lazy summer evenings, hush on the water, witchin' hour, and well, hell, to me it just ain't fishin'...no news there, eh?

But the jumpsuits can fish and catch the magnums by the proverbial barrel full and all so it came as no surprise to learn that on July 2, 2009, one Manabu Kurita caught a 22-pound, 4-ounce largemouth that tied George Perry’s 1932 all-tackle world record. Though I was practically floored upon learning it came from Japan’s Lake Biwa. Did you know Japan even had bass? This pilgrim sure did not...

So I did a little digging and low and behold not just Japan but largemouth now swim in 61 countries, many got their visas as far back as the late 1800s!!! Historically largemouth bass finned only in the eastern U.S., southern Ontario and northern Mexico. Today largemouth fishing exists in every state except Alaska and are said to be available to more U.S. anglers than any other fish...Imagine. Oh by the way the pic is courtesy of IGFA and while obviously a whopper I've no idea if THE whopper.

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