World Record Bass
YouTube: National Geographic

The Truth Behind the World Record Largemouth Bass That Didn't Count

A lot of people don't know the incredible story of Dottie, the world-record bass that wasn't.

Catching the world-record largemouth bass is just about as big as it gets in the fishing world. Largemouth bass are the most sought-after and recognizable game fish on the planet. With every cast, anglers wish they'd feel a strike from a big bass that could break George Perry's record from 1932 of 22 pounds, 4 ounces.

But rarely do anglers know for sure that a record bass is lurking in the depths below. In this incredible, yet strange story of a bass known as Dottie, (because of a marking on is gill plate), that was exactly the case at Dixon Lake, California.

A group of bass fishing buddies dedicated their lives to catching this majestic bass. They eventually did—more than just once—but the story takes a crazy twist. Watch this video on the foul-hooked, 25-pound, 1-ounce legend that didn't make it into the record books and the men that pursued the record for years.

You can imagine the controversy and debate that followed this story. To land such a marvelous fish by foul-hooking it must've caused a lot of mixed emotions. Mac Weakley was later given the chance to enter the fish in the IGFA record book because he had not intentionally tried to foul-hook the fish. However, for reasons unknown, Weakley decided not to pursue the record application and his catch will forever remain "unofficial."

The fact that a fish could have that distinguishable of a mark is crazy. I can only imagine the number of anglers fleeing to the docks in the morning knowing that the world-record bass was possibly just a cast away.

Dottie's story ended in probably the coolest storybook ending possible, as the monster died of natural causes.

The game was over, and an era had come to an end. George Perry's 22-pound, 4 ounce record still lives on.