Northern California angler Paul Bailey is no stranger to catching big bass, Our former sales manager Brian Lull took this shot (below) of Bailey and his Clear Lake tournament partner Jackson Juarez at the 2014 event at Konocti Vista Casino, and Bailey and Juarez won that same event in 2013.
Bailey, from Kelseyville, may have a the label “world-record holder” attached to his name after variousreports had him catching a spotted bass (in an unnamed body of water) that could have established a new standard. But as FLW Outdoors reported, it’s for now an unofficial record only:
Bailey’s behemoth was weighed on three different Rapala digital scales. Each registered a different weight: 11 pounds, 7 ounces, 11-5 and 11-4.
While Bailey’s fish was almost certainly larger than the existing record bass, it might not end up as the official record. Ferrante kept his fish and weighed it on a certified scale. While Bailey has plenty of witnesses and photos, he was unable to find a California Department of Fish and Wildlife agent willing and able to certify the fish on a holiday Sunday and was unwilling to risk keeping it overnight or killing the fish.
“I was torn between killing the fish [or letting it go],” says Bailey. “If it was a largemouth bass and it was a record-class fish, that’s a once-in-a-lifetime deal. These spotted bass are just getting started, and I know the record is going to be broken again. It just wasn’t worth it to me to kill the fish and go through it all.”
There’s a lot of good stuff in the rest of the story so it’s a good read. Official or not, congrats to Bailey for what appears to be a massive spot. Well done, sir.