World Record Smallmouth Bass

  • World Record Smallmouth Bass
  • Weight: 11 pounds, 15 ounces.
  • Angler: David Hays
  • Date: July 8 / 1955
  • Location: Dale Hallow Lake, Kentucky
  • Length: 27 inches
  • Girth: 21.66 inches

  • As usual, there is controversy. Raymond Barlow, whoever the hell he is, submitted an affidavit to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers stating that Hayes' fish had only weighed 8 lb 15 oz and that he had stuffed three pounds of metal in the fishes' mouth and stomach to make it a record.

    Most records that pre-date the 70s are not accurate. Fish were not properly weighed or documented. Over-excited fisherman often added 30% to the size and weight of a fish. Many records that have been submitted are of people that catch fish and then let the story grow for a few years before entering.

    In this case, if you input the dimensions into a bass weight calculator , it shows the fish should weigh over 10 pounds and close to what David's claims are. David Hays does have the World Record Smallmouth Bass according to the IGFA.

    I am sorry but I find the above picture comparison very suspicious. At the dock the fish looks like a normal Smallmouth Bass but latter it looks like it has a couple of pounds of bolts in it's stomach forcing the stomach to stretch way down, which is exactly what Raymond Barlow claimed had been done to the fish. The fish is also supposedly 30% larger than the second biggest Smallmouth Bass every recorded in history. If I had to bet on it I would say the record was falsified.

    A second point to consider is the fish picture at the dock shows the fish is dead and its mouth is wide open because rigor-mortis has set in, which means the fish would go hard and not have any secondary stretching of the stomach unless a couple of pounds of material was introduced. Also, its mouth was forced close after the stretching occured when an open mouth makes a much more dramatic photo and it's also how he had the fish mounted. What was forcing the mouth closed trying to hide?