Indigenous to the eastern and central United States (and also the north of Mexico), the largemouth bass has always been a popular target amongst anglers.
Each year millions of anglers spend massive amounts of time and money wrestling with largemouth bass. They’re known for their aggression; they’re far from a fish that goes down without a fight.
But they’re also known for their size, which is what makes them even trickier to catch. It’s the dream of most anglers to catch the biggest largemouth bass in the state- or, perhaps, the biggest largemouth bass in their state.
So what are the records to beat?
The following article will break down all you need to know about the biggest largemouth bass catches on record.
Largemouth Bass: World Record (George Perry)
New records for largemouth catches are surprisingly uncommon, and the current world record proves this, which has remained unbeaten since the 2nd of June, 1932.
In the south of Georgia, angler George Perry caught a largemouth that weighed a whopping 22 pounds and four ounces, at Lake Montgomery (which was an oxbow lake from the Ocmulgee River).
To further emphasize how rarely these records are broken, when Perry caught the fish, world records about fish didn’t even exist yet.
It almost slipped through the cracks entirely. Perry and the friend he was fishing with had no intention of breaking any records when they headed to Lake Montgomery- they were just looking to put some food on the table.
Stopping on their way home to weigh the largemouth at the post office, Perry returned to feed his family of six for two entire dinners.
Perry later entered the catch in a contest that was being run by a fishing magazine, and despite having no photographic evidence to go with his submission, he was awarded first prize.
Perry went on to win the same contest that same year after catching a bass that weighed 13 pounds and 14 ounces. To this day, Perry holds the world record for biggest largemouth bass.
Largemouth Bass: Tied World Record (Manabu Kurita)
We mentioned that George Perry’s bass almost slipped through the cracks- and what if it had? Well, in 2009 an angler from Japan called Manabu Kurita technically caught a largemouth bass that was bigger than Perry’s, coming in at 22 pounds and five ounces. The fish was caught in Lake Biwa.
The only reason this catch didn’t break the world record was because of the IGFA’s strict regulations, which stated that to make a new record, the fish had to weigh over two ounces more than the record to beat.
So, while Kurita’s catch was technically a bigger fish, it went down as a tie in the record books.
#2 World Record
The second biggest largemouth bass ever caught (although technically the third biggest thanks to the aforementioned tie) weighed 22 pounds. It was caught by Robert Crupi in Castaic Lake, California, in March of 1991.
Astonishingly, it took Crupi just three minutes to catch the fish, using crayfish as his bait. It wasn’t quite the world record breaker, but it’s still regarded with awe to this day.
#3 World Record
The #3 world record for biggest largemouth bass is 21 pounds and three ounces. The fish was caught by Raymond Easley in Oak View, California, in March of 1980.
Easley was teaching a number of students how to fish for bass when he hooked onto the whopper. Wonder if he made it look easy?
#4 World Record
Before breaking his record the very next year, Crupi initially caught a 21-pound largemouth back in March of 1990, also at Castaic Lake. At the time it was the third-largest of its species ever to be caught. Unlike his most recent record, which took three minutes to accomplish, Crupi spent five tireless days chasing the trophy.
#5 World Record
In January of 1989 at Morena Lake in California, Arden Charles Hanline caught a largemouth that weighed 19 pounds and two ounces, in the 12-pound test category.
Largemouth Bass: State Records (America)
So the world record for the biggest largemouth bass remains undefeated by Perry’s 22.4-pound trophy. While the record was technically tied in 2009 with a 22.5-pound fish, catching a largemouth big enough to beat the world record likely seems largely unattainable for most anglers.
But what about the records for each state of America? An angler’s chances of breaking these records are far more feasible than their chances of breaking the world record (or even coming close); some of the records are as little as seven pounds. It does depend on location, though.
As we mentioned previously, the maximum size of largemouth bass is a lot smaller in certain parts of America and certain parts of the world.
Still, while some of these records may pale in comparison to the world records, they’re all worth a mention, as many anglers are spending hundreds of hours every year trying to beat them.
So, in alphabetical order, here are all of the state records for the biggest largemouth bass.
A – C
The record for the biggest largemouth bass caught in Alaska is an interesting one. Caught in 2018 at Sand Lake, it weighed just 0.5 pounds.
The reason the record is so much smaller than most of the other state records is that not only are largemouth bass not native to Alaska but they’re also considered an invasive species.
It’s unknown who caught the fish, but the state hopes there won’t be any more catches in the future.
The record for Alabama is 16 pounds and eight ounces. The catch was made by Thomas Burgin in Mountain View Lake, back in 1987.
In Arizona the biggest largemouth bass ever caught weighed 16 pounds and seven ounces, and was caught by Randall White at Canyon Lake in 1997.
The Arkansas record was claimed by Paul Crowder in 2012, who caught a largemouth that weighed 16 pounds and five ounces at Lake Dunn.
In California, the record is 21 pounds and 12 ounces. The fish was caught at Lake Castaic (which is where the #2 world record largemouth was caught) in 1991, by Michael Arujo.
The Colorado record is 11 pounds and six ounces and was caught at the Echo Canyon Reservoir by Jarrett Edwards in 1997.
The Connecticut record is 12 pounds and 14 ounces and was caught at Mashapaug Pond by Frank Domurat in 1961.
D – G
The biggest largemouth bass ever caught in Delaware weighed 11 pounds and was caught at Wagamons Pond by AJ Klein in 2016.
In Florida, the record is 17 pounds and four ounces. The lake where the catch took place is unnamed, but the angler, who caught the fish in 1986, was called Billy O’Berry.
The Georgia record was 22 pounds and four ounces and was caught at Montgomery Lake by current world record holder George Perry.
H – K
The biggest largemouth caught in Hawaii weighed nine pounds and nine ounces and was caught in 1992 at Waita Reservoir by Dickie Broyles.
The Idaho record is 10 pounds and 15 ounces and was made by M.W. Taylor at Anderson Lake.
The record for Illinois is 13 pounds and one ounce. The fish was caught by Edward Walbel at Stone Quarry in 1976.
The Indiana record was 14 pounds and 12 ounces, caught by Jennifer Schultz in 1991.
The record for Iowa was 10 pounds and 14 ounces and was caught in 1984 by Patricia Zaerr at Lake Fisher.
In Kansas, the biggest largemouth ever caught weighed 11 pounds and 13 ounces, and was caught by Tyson Hallam at a private pit lake in 2008.
The Kentucky record is 13 pounds and 10.4 ounces, caught by Dale Wilson at Wood Creek Lake in 1984.
L – N
The Louisiana record is 15.97 pounds, caught by Greg Wiggins at Caney Lake in 1994.
The record for Maine is 11 pounds and 10 ounces, caught by Rodney Cockrell at Moose Pond in 1968, while the record for Maryland is 11 pounds and two ounces, also caught by Rodney Cockrell at a private pond in 1983.
Walter Bolonis caught the biggest largemouth in Massachusetts in 1975. The Sampson Pond trophy weighed 15 pounds and eight ounces.
In Michigan, the record was made by William Maloney in 1934, who caught a largemouth that weighed 11 pounds and 15 ounces at Big Pine Island Lake.
The Minnesota record is held by Joseph Johanns, who caught a largemouth that weighed eight pounds and 13 ounces at Tetonka Lake in 1959.
The Mississippi record is held by Anthony Denny, who caught an 18 pound, two-ounce largemouth at Natchez State Park Lake in 1992.
The record for Missouri is 13 pounds and 14 ounces, caught by Marvin Bushong at Bull Shoals Lake in 1961.
The record for Montana is eight pounds and 12.8 ounces, caught by Darin Williams at Noxon Rapids Reservoir in 2009.
Paul Abegglen Sr. has the Nebraska record, with a 10 pound, 11 ounce largemouth at a sandpit near Columbus in 1965.
The record for Nevada is 12 pounds, caught by Michael R. Geary at Lake Mead in 1999.
The record for New Hampshire is 10 pounds and eight ounces, caught by G. Bullpit at Lake Potanipo in 1967.
The record for New Jersey is 10 pounds and 14 ounces, caught by Robert Eisele at Menantico Sand Wash Pond in 1980.
In New Mexico, the biggest largemouth weighed 15 pounds and 13 ounces and was caught by Steve Estrada at Bill Evans Lake in 1995.
The New York record is 11 pounds and four ounces, caught by John L. Higbie at Buckhorn Lake in 1987.
The record in North Carolina was 15 pounds and 14 ounces, caught by William H. Wofford at a private pond in 1991.
The record in North Dakota was eight pounds, 7.5 ounces, caught by Leon Rixen at Nelson Lake in 1983.
O – R
The Ohio record is 13 pounds, two ounces, caught by Roy Landsberger at a private pond in 1976.
The Oklahoma record is 14 pounds, 12 ounces, caught by Benny Williams Jr. at Cedar Lake in 2012.
The Oregon record is 11 pounds, 9.6 ounces, caught by Randy Spaur at a private pond in 1994.
The Pennsylvania record is 11 pounds, three ounces, caught by Donal Shade at Birch Run Reservoir in 1983.
The Rhode Island record is 10 pounds, six ounces, caught by Brandon Migliore at Johnson’s Pond in 2016.
S – U
The South Carolina record is 16 pounds, two ounces, caught by P.H. Flanagan at Lake Marion in 1949.
The South Dakota record is nine pounds, three ounces, caught by Richard Vierick at Hudson Gravel Pit in 1999.
The record for Tennessee was set by Gabe Keen, who caught a 15 pound, two-ounce largemouth at Chickamauga Lake in 2015
The Texas record is held by Barry St. Clair, who caught an 18 pound 2.8-ounce largemouth at Lake Fork in 1992.
The Utah record is held by Sam Lamanna, who caught a 10-pound two-ounce largemouth at Powell Lake in 1974.
V – W
The Vermont record was set by Tony Gale in 1988, with a 10 pound, four-ounce trophy at Lake Dunmore.
16 pounds, four ounces is the Virginia record, set by Richard Tate at Connor Lake in 1985.
12 pounds, eight ounces is the Washington record, set by Bill Evans at Lake Bosworth in 2016.
Nine pounds, 9.9 ounces is the West Virginia record, set by Eli Gain at Dog Run Lake in 2001.
11 pounds, three ounces is the Wisconsin record, set by an unnamed angler at Ripley Lake in 1940.
The Wyoming record is seven pounds, 14 ounces, set at a private pond by Dustin Shorma in 1992.
What Size Is A Trophy Largemouth?
To be considered a trophy fish, the required size of the largemouth would vary depending on the location.
In the North, for example, largemouth rarely weighs more than around 10 pounds. But in the South, some female largemouth has been known to weigh as much as 20 pounds.
Generally, though, a largemouth between eight to 20 pounds would usually be considered a trophy fish.
Some believe, though, that a fish should only be considered a trophy if it weighs a minimum of 51% of the current world record. If this were the case, a largemouth bass would need to be a minimum of 11 pounds and three ounces, otherwise, it would not be considered a trophy fish. It’s up for debate, though.
There’s no hard and fast rule- especially since, if you’re in the North, you’d struggle to ever catch a largemouth that weighed more than 10 pounds.
Largemouth records are rarely broken, especially the world record, which was the last set back in 1932. The state records are broken more frequently, and some of them are far lower than the largemouth that set the world records.
Just because they’re lower, though, doesn’t make them any less of a feat; some locations just have smaller largemouth in general.