Eighty years ago, George Perry set the benchmark of bass fishing–a 22-pound, 4-ounce largemouth bass caught June 2 , 1932 from Lake Montgomery, an oxbow of the Ocmulgee River in South Georgia, that still stands as the official world record.
Spring was wet that year, and on June 2 the fields were too soggy to work. So Perry and his friend Jack Page set out for Montgomery Lake to do some fishing. They kept a small homemade boat there and carried a single rod, reel and lure. Each would take a turn casting while the other sculled the boat.
At some point, Perry noticed a disturbance near a shallow stump and made a cast to it.
Years later, Perry told the tale to Vic Dunaway for a 1969 Sports Afield article:
I don’t remember many of the details but all at once the water splashed everywhere. I do remember striking, then raring back and trying to reel. But nothing budged. I thought for sure I had lost the fish — that he’d dived and hung me up. I had no idea how big the fish was, but that didn’t matter. What had me worried was losing the lure.
The lure was the only one they had, a Creek Chub Fintail Shiner, and their day would be over without it.