Gather ’round and prepare to be amazed by a whale of a tale that will make your heart skip a beat. Allow me to introduce you to the striped bass. These behemoths glisten like silver, but what truly leaves jaws dropped and eyes wide open is the magnificent size of these fish. The largest striped bass ever caught in Tennessee was as big as a Siberian husky! Siberian Huskies typically weigh 45-60 pounds (20-27 kg). So, grab your fishing gear, summon your spirit of adventure, and get ready to cast your lines into the unknown. For who knows what extraordinary treasures await beneath the surface?
What is a Striped Bass?
The striped bass (Morone saxatilis), also known as a striper, is a popular game fish native to the Atlantic coast of North America. These fish are known for the distinctive striped pattern along their sides. It is these stripes that give rise to their common name. They have a streamlined body with a silvery coloration. Their stripes can vary in intensity and thickness. Striped bass have a forked tail and two dorsal fins, with the front dorsal fin possessing a series of nine spines.
Striped bass are primarily found in coastal saltwater environments, including bays, estuaries, and along the Atlantic coastline. In the wild they undertake anadromous migrations, meaning they spawn in freshwater rivers but spend the majority of their lives in saltwater. As a result of hatcheries and stocking programs, striped bass have been introduced into various freshwater systems outside of their native range, including reservoirs and rivers. An important game fish, striped bass are highly sought after by anglers due to their strong fighting ability. Striped bass can grow to impressive sizes. Individuals exceeding 40 pounds are not uncommon.
The Tennessee State record holder for the largest landlocked striped bass is Ralph H. Dallas. He got the best of a 65 lb. 6 oz. (30 kg) striped bass on May 1, 2000. Dallas reeled in his record-breaking catch at Cordell Hull Reservoir. Cordell Hull Reservoir is located in Smith County. Dallas is a full-time fishing guide. He fishes exclusively for trophy fish. Dallas routinely fishes on Cordell Hull and Old Hickory Lakes. He is determined to hook a world-record striped bass. Ralph Dallas took the record from Knoxville resident Willis Marsh. Marsh landed a 63 lb. 12 oz. (29 kg) striper from Melton Hill Lake, the same lake from which Gary Helms set the former record by hooking a 60-pounder (27 kg).
The Largest Striped Bass Ever Caught
The largest open-water striped bass ever caught was an unofficial record-setting fish weighing nearly 82 pounds (37 kg). This colossal striped bass was caught by angler Greg Myerson on August 4, 2011. He made his catch off the coast of Westbrook, Connecticut. Myerson’s catch surpassed the previous record of 78.5 pounds (35.6 kg) set by Albert McReynolds in 1982. Myerson’s catch has not been recognized as an official record by the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) due to a matter related to the scale used in weighing the fish. Nevertheless, the catch received widespread attention within the angling community and highlighted the incredible size potential of striped bass. Striped bass of this magnitude are rare, and catches of such immense proportions continue to captivate the imagination of anglers around the world.
The Largest Striped Bass Ever Netted
The largest open-water striped bass ever netted was a specimen caught in a gill net in North Carolina’s Albemarle Sound in 1896. The fish weighed an astounding 125 pounds (56.6 kg) and measured 6.5 feet (2 m) long. Although many years have passed since that remarkable capture, it continues to be referenced as a testament to the immense potential of striped bass in terms of size and weight.
The Largest Fish Ever Caught in Tennessee
The largest fish ever caught in Tennessee was a 149-pound (67.5 kg) paddlefish. The fish was hooked by Henry Dyer of Kingston, Tennessee. Dyer caught the fish on Cherokee Lake on April 13, 2023. The fish was compared in size/weight to a mountain lion! A paddlefish (Polyodontidae) is known for its distinctive paddle-like snout. They lack typical fish scales. Paddlefish are known for their impressive size, with some individuals reaching lengths of over 7 feet (2.1 meters) and weighing over 100 pounds (45 kg).
The Featured Image
Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.