While Japan and Cuba were duking it out in San Diego for the first World Baseball Classic title, a few miles away two other sportsmen were writing their own chapter in the history books. Meet Mac Weakley and Jed Dickerson, who on Monday caught a 25.1-pound bass. That's one whopping huge-ass bass in case you don't know; just slightly smaller than the ones you see filling up the entire boat on those comical vacation postcards. Weakley and Dickerson landed the largemouth at Dixon Lake, a reservoir near Carlsbad, Calif. Yeah, we know you're dying to know, so we'll tell you; they used a white jig with a skirt and rattle on 15-pound line. The fish surpassed what is called the DiMaggio 56-game hitting streak of bass records, and although we're a little confused by the parallel, we suppose we get the drift. The previous biggest, the legendary Perry Bass caught in 1922 in Georgia, weighed in at 22 1/4 pounds. Ha! A minnow.
The Weakley-Dickerson bass is now the champ, causing much rejoicing in Carlsbad, where people are gathering paper plates and potato salad in anticipation of the state's largest-ever fish fry.
Um, except that they aren't. Actually, after weighing the bass, taking pictures of it and filming it, Weakley threw it back in the drink. It was a noble gesture, but a potentially costly one; fishing experts say that, had they kept it, it could have been worth as much as $1 million in endorsements. Some are even saying that because the bass cannot be examined, the record may not stand. So now, all that remains are memories, and a lingering, fishy odor. We raise our beer cans to you, Mac Weakley and Jed Dickerson. There may be little honor left on the playing fields of professional sports, but out on small rural lakes, some people still know what integrity is. Yes, swim o' mighty bass. Swim free! But go to the other side of the boat; we have to take a leak.
World Record Bass Boated in California [ESPN Outdoors]