Discover the Largest Bass Ever Caught

Written by Janet F. Murray
Updated: February 2, 2023
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Key Points:

  • The bass is a fish that is native to North America. It is the largest of the sunfish family, with a body shape that is more like a perch than other basses.
  • The largemouth bass can weigh up to 22 pounds and grow up to 29 inches long, but the average size is around 3 to 4 pounds.
  • George Perry is the world record holder for the largest bass caught in 1932. Perry bagged a largemouth bass in Lake Montgomery, his fish weighed 22.4 pounds.

While fishing is a popular pastime enjoyed by millions of people around the world, it’s also a sport that can be highly competitive. Anglers spend long hours on the water hoping to discover the largest bass ever caught. In their noble quest, many make great efforts to snag their prize fish.

So, you can imagine the excitement and awe of one fisherman after landing what whizzes believe to be the largest largemouth bass ever caught, achieving an incredible victory and honor.

Largemouth Bass from Lake
The largest largemouth bass ever caught weighed 22.4 pounds, caught by George Perry in Lake Montgomery, Georgia, U.S. in 1932.

©Maclane Parker/

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The Largest Bass

The bass is a fish that is native to North America. It is the largest of the sunfish family, with a body shape that is more like a perch than other basses. The largemouth bass has a wide mouth that goes past its eyes. They are usually greenish with dark bars or spots on their sides.

The largemouth bass can weigh up to 22 pounds and grow up to 29 inches long, but the average size is around 3 to 4 pounds. The largemouth bass is a popular game fish that anglers enjoy hunting worldwide.

Largemouth Bass Fishing

The largemouth bass is the most enticing game fish in the U.S. They are known for their fighting spirit and can put up quite a struggle when hooked. Despite this, they are relatively easy to catch, making them an excellent choice for beginner and seasoned anglers.

The largemouth bass is found in nearly every state in the U.S., so anglers have easy access to them no matter where they live. In most cases, you only need a rod and reel, some bait, and a little patience.

How To Catch Bass

While fishers or anglers can catch largemouth bass using various methods, live bait is usually the most effective. Worms, minnows, and crayfish are all excellent choices. Anglers who want to catch a largemouth bass out of season should use artificial lures such as spinnerbaits or crankbaits. This approach is especially beneficial when fish are not actively feeding.

When fishing for largemouth bass, it’s important to remember that they’re predatory. That means these fish are most active when there’s food around. This habit is also why it’s often best to fish for them in the spring and fall when they’re feeding heavily to prepare for winter or spawning.

The Largest Bass Ever Caught Was a Largemouth Bass

When it comes to largemouth bass, size does matter. George Perry is the world record holder for the largest bass caught in 1932. Perry bagged a largemouth bass in Lake Montgomery, an 880-acre reservoir in Georgia, U.S. His fish weighed 22.4 pounds. But, what’s more, impressive about this story is that George Perry was not even a competitive angler as we understand it today. He was just an ordinary guy wanting to catch a fish for dinner. And yet Perry’s fish has held the official world record for over 80 years.

Trophy Largemouth Bass
Manabu Kuritacaught the largest bass ever in Japan in 2009 but it only weighed 1 ounce more than the record holder and should weigh 2 ounces more to qualify as a new record.


The Story Behind the Largest Largemouth Bass Ever Caught

On June 2, 1932, George Perry and his friend went out on Lake Montgomery intending to catch some fish for dinner. Perry and his friend were using a creek chub fin tail shiner lure when they hooked into what would become the world-record largemouth bass. They fought the fish for a while before finally landing it. Then they took the fish to the local post office to weigh it before heading home for a tasty meal. Amazingly, the fish was enough to feed George and his family for several nights.

The crazy thing is that George’s fish might never have made it into the record books. But luckily, he heard about a big fish contest held by Field and Stream (a popular magazine of that time) at the time. So he entered the fish, and even though there was no photo to back up the claim, the measurements and weight of the fish were enough to win the contest. The prize was some clothing and a shotgun with shells, but the best part was that George Perry and his largemouth bass made the history books that day.

So, there you have it. The story of the largest largemouth bass ever caught. A 22-pound, 4-ounce fish was caught by George Perry in 1932 from Lake Montgomery in Georgia. A fish that almost didn’t make the record books but did, thanks to a big fish contest and some savvy angling on Perry’s part. A fish that, to this day, is still the world record holder for largemouth bass. And a fish that provides hope to anglers everywhere that, if George Perry can catch a world record fish, anyone can.

Manabu Kurita of Japan Challenges the World Largemouth Bass Record

smallmouth vs largemouth bass
Largemouth bass is invasive in Japanese waters, making this an ideal place to try to beat the world record for the largest bass ever caught.


While George Perry’s fish held the official world record for more than 80 years, a more recent report has challenged this world record. In 2009, Manabu Kurita of Japan landed a largemouth bass that weighed 22 pounds, 5 ounces, and measured 29 inches. Kurita caught this fish in Lake Biwa, Japan, using live bluegill as bait.

Kurita’s fish beats the weight of Perry’s fish by one ounce. However, the International Game Fish Association considers Kurita’s fish a tie with the previous record. For it to have surpassed the previous title, the bass would have had to outweigh Perry’s fish by more than 2 ounces. Regardless, Kurita’s bass is still an impressive catch.

Largemouth Bass in Japan

The largemouth bass is a non-native species in Japan, and the government has been trying to exterminate them for years. The primary reason is that the government considers largemouth bass a nuisance. They compete with native fish species for food, damaging the delicate ecosystem of ponds and lakes in Japan.
The Japanese government has been trying various methods to eliminate largemouth bass. Still, so far, nothing has been entirely successful. However, this lack of success ensures a significant number of these fish still swim in Japanese waters–enough to satisfy the fishing passion of anglers like Manabu Kurita and other bass fishing enthusiasts.

Where are Largemouth Bass Found?

The Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides) is a freshwater fish species native to North America. It is a popular gamefish and is sought after by anglers for its fighting ability and size.

Largemouth Bass are typically found in freshwater habitats with clear water and an abundance of vegetation, such as weed beds, lily pads, and other types of underwater cover. They are also known to inhabit a variety of other freshwater environments, including rivers, lakes, ponds, and reservoirs.

In addition to its popularity as a sportfish, the Largemouth Bass is also commercially important, as it is widely farmed for food and for stocking recreational fishing waters. The species has also been introduced to other countries and has established populations in many parts of the world, including South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Largemouth Bass are generally hardy and adaptable and are considered to be one of the most successful species of freshwater fish in terms of distribution and abundance. However, in some areas, overfishing, habitat degradation, and the introduction of non-native species can pose threats to their populations.

Next Up – Discover the Largest Fish Species in the World

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About the Author

I'm a freelance writer with more than eight years of content creation experience. My content writing covers diverse genres, and I have a business degree. I am also the proud author of my memoir, My Sub-Lyme Life. This work details the effects of living with undiagnosed infections like rickettsia (like Lyme). By sharing this story, I wish to give others hope and courage in overcoming their life challenges. In my downtime, I value spending time with friends and family.

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