Record largemouth bass are an obsession for some, a passion for others, and a joy to behold for the masses. Defining “trophy” is a personal matter, of course, and often varies depending on where you fish. In most northern states, 6 pounds is a beast. But in southern latitudes, it takes a 10 to truly raise eyebrows.
As we pored over state record largemouth bass from across the continent, it quickly became clear that breaking the 15-pound mark is best achieved south of the Mason-Dixon Line. To be fair, Massachusetts produced a 15-plus back in 1975. And Indiana yielded a 14-pound, 12-ounce record in 1991. But there’s no denying your odds increase in the south and west. Even there, however, the surge of behemoth bass ebbed in the 1980s and ’90s. While reports of huge fish and near-misses have surfaced, few records have fallen in recent years.
As for the world all-tackle record, George Perry’s 22-pound, 4-ounce giant continues to exhibit amazing staying power. We lead off with his catch, followed by a selection of North America’s biggest bass records, with a nod to Massachusetts’ notable northern leviathan.