Paul Bailey caught a spotted bass that may be the new California state record.
Or maybe not, depending on the cooperation of the state.
California and “Kentucky” spotted bass seem to go together now like peas and carrots. Well-known western professional and big-bait angler Paul Bailey caught a spotted bass weighing 11 pounds, 4 ounces on what they are calling “Lake X” in California right now to keep the out-of-town traffic to a minimum for a while. We talked to Matt Newman, another well-known western pro angler and owner of iRod who was filming with Paul and Shea McIntee for Stoked on Fishing today. They got the whole catch on film, and it will air on Fox Sports West and StokedonFishing.com in February.
“It was a crazy day today,” Newman said. “We were filming an episode for Shea McIntee’s Stoked on Fishing up in Northern California, and when we hit the water, everything was frosted because of freezing temperatures. We caught a few rats early, but we moved back in a pocket. I cast up in the back of the pocket and felt like one was swimming out with my bait. I set the hook and landed an 8-pound spotted bass, my personal best. So I started doing the celebration dance.
“While I’m back there dancing with my new personal record spotted bass, Paul makes the same cast I just made, and I see him set the hook, telling me it’s another giant. I throw my fish in the livewell as he plays the fish for at least a minute making big runs out in deep water. He finally gets it boat side, and I lip it.
“As soon as I put my hand on its jaw, I looked at the camera and said, ‘Dude! It’s a world record!’ Paul said, ‘Dude it’s a 10-pounder.’ I said, ‘No dude; it’s a world record. I’m telling you.'”
They weighed the fish on their scale at 11 pounds, 4 ounces. They immediately called the California Department of Fish and Game. Unfortunately this where the story takes a disappointing turn. The duo tried for several hours but could not find anyone at the California DFG willing to come certify the catch. They asked to transport the fish alive to someone who would certify it. Again they got the run around and were told they could not transport a bass alive to another location. They kept trying to get someone to meet them to certify the catch and after many futile attempts, they were forced to release the fish without having it certified by a biologist.
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