Apr 24, 2014 - The world record bass was pulled from a lake in Japan. Not Lake Michigan, not the Mississippi, nor any of the South's great bass lakes. It was a whopping 22 pounds, 5 ounces — Basszilla? — but a south Texas doctor believes he's come up with a method to grow one even bigger.
Long, spindly arms protrude from behind the head of the freshwater prawn, looking like hinged blue coffee stirrers tipped with tiny pincers. Dr. Gary Schwarz walked through knee-deep mud to grab a big male that was drying in the south Texas sun to give me an up-close view of the little beast. “It’s hard to believe that this crazy-looking creature will be responsible for growing the next world record largemouth, but I can promise you, it will,” Schwarz says.
Growing a largemouth to top Manabu Kurita’s 22-pound, 5-ounce behemoth from Japan’s Lake Biwa has been tried before. Bass expert Glen Lau tried in the ’80s. He even set up a corporation named World Record Bass Inc. Lau managed to grow a largemouth to 18 pounds in Central Florida before poachers raided his waters and killed the fish — which was also the death of his effort to top the record. Other private pond owners have tried, but all failed due to money problems, loss of interest or simple lack of results.
So, why should the bass fishing world take the promises of Schwarz seriously? His history and successes with growing whitetail deer when everyone said it was impossible are one reason. Marry that with his ingenuity, passion and commitment to the project, and you are left with a feeling that it is simply a matter of time before a 23-pound bass is lifted from one of the intensely managed lakes of Schwarz’s La Perla Ranch.
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