Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Truth Wins - OR, Does It?

The current world record for a fish was a bass 22 pounds, 4 ounces, caught by George Washington Perry in 1932. But, Mac Weakly, from Carlsbad, California, has tried for five years to topple this record.

Weakley's shot at Perry's record was controversial. He caught the fish by accidentally hooking it behind the dorsal fin, instead of the mouth, which was illegal in California. He also did not use an association-certified scale for weigh-in, and didn't get measurements of its length and girth, two requirements for world-record applications.

Over the years, people have also tried to cheat their way to the world record, altering photographs they've sent into the game fish association (the keeper of all fishing records) and weighing fish on suspicious bathroom scales. A woman in California even got caught stuffing lead diving weights down the mouth of a bass.

Even Perry's standing record has its share of doubters. Perry, a poor farmer from McRae, Ga., neither took a photograph of his fish nor had it mounted. He simply caught the fish, had it weighed at a country store, took it home and ate it.

Weakly thought about sending in the application. But, he acknowledged he caught it wrong, and decided to just weigh it, and let it go. The fish was a female bass, full of eggs.

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