Keeping records just part of the game for the International Game Fish Association

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There was a time when keeping fishing records didn’t matter, such as in the day (1932) of George W. Perry, who really didn’t like to talk about his world record, 22-pound, 4-ounce largemouth bass.

After fishing for hours without a strike, Ralph Barbee Jr., of Evans, was surprised when this 10-pound bass struck his white spinnerbait in just a foot of water on Thurmond Lake. It turned out to be his very first fish of the new year.  SPECIAL
After fishing for hours without a strike, Ralph Barbee Jr., of Evans, was surprised when this 10-pound bass struck his white spinnerbait in just a foot of water on Thurmond Lake. It turned out to be his very first fish of the new year.

“George never figured out why so many people were excited to hear about his catch,” a close friend said.

Field & Stream magazine began keeping records in the early part of the 20th century, gleaning most of them from its Big Fish Contest that offered prizes not just for bass, but other species as well.

In 1978, the magazine’s publishers decided to turn over the records to the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) which has been keeping them ever since. The National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame, in Hayward, Wis., also set up a record-keeping shop.

The IGFA’s 2014 World Record Game Fishes book is now out and the organization is celebrating the 75th year of its existence, too. Fresh and salt water records are posted in the book, which also has articles of interest to anglers.

You can get a copy of the 416-page book by becoming an IGFA member. For more information, visit http:/


Capt. David Willard, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed, fulltime professional guide specializing in hybrids, striped bass and trophy largemouth bass. Boat phone: (706) 214-0236. (803) 637-6379 ( – I needed to run my boat a bit and make sure everything was working properly. So my daughters Sarah and Jessie and I drove up to the Hamilton Branch State Park cove where we found water temperatures at 47 degrees and slightly stained water. We caught a small striper and then jigged up some white perch on a Berry’s Flex-It Spoon. Those fish tasted good at supper.

Ralph Barbee Jr., professional guide specializing in largemouth bass. (706) 831-8756 – Bob Vernoy and I fished in the Rousseau Creek area Thursday. I caught a 6-pounder on a spinnerbait. He caught a 20-pound striper on a white crank bait. Both fish were released. Water temperatures hovered around 48 degrees.

Fishing with Ralph Barbee airs Saturdays at 11 a.m., and Sundays at 1:30 p.m. on Comcast Channel 21, WRDW-My12, WOW! Ch. 7, Atlantic Broadband (Aiken) Ch. 7 and Charter Ch. 9 (Fort Gordon).

Bill Speer, The Fishing Coach, professional guide specializing in largemouth bass fishing on Lake Russell ( (706) 421-6630 – Not much has changed since last week. Water temperature is in the low to mid 40s, some areas are off color, others are not. There has been a large threadfin shad die-off and you can see them floating everywhere. The bass are gorging themselves. I am throwing a new 3/8-ounce swim jig from Greenfish at The Tackle Shop in Martinez. I am throwing it around shad and trying to make it look like one of those fish in the last throes of dying. In dirty water, I am throwing the chartreuse/white with a silver head. I also am throwing a jerkbait and working it really slow. I’m also bumping a half-ounce jig along ledges and drops. Last weekend a drop shot produced a few fish. Think spring! On Russell, I always put in at Beaver Dam Marina where you can have a safe launch as well as a nice lunch. The marina is open Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., and on Sunday from 11:30 until 6 p.m.


Carter and Hunter Morris, licensed professional guides specializing in fly fishing for rainbow, brook and brown trout. (706) 833-1083 ( ( georgia) – Now that we’ve finally made it to February after a very cold January, we’ll start to see the beginning signs of the spring dry fly fishing. The Toccoa River will begin to have fairly heavy Blue-Winged Olive hatches so keep your eyes peeled for sipping trout. But also realize that even if you’re not seeing fish feeding on the surface, they should be feeding sub-surface on mayfly nymphs. A simple beadless pheasant tail nymph will do the trick; just adjust the size and depth of your fly until you find the trout.


Check-in station, 1408 Doug Barnard Parkway, Gene Kirkland, (706) 722-8263 – Brickyards report: Paul Wolfe over the past three days has caught 18 bass in the Membership Pond. Gene Kirkland and J.C Skinner caught 30 crappies on minnows in the King Pond. Mr. and Mrs. Keith Bass caught 20 crappies in the Ditch. Robert James caught 15 crappies in the Shack Pond on minnows. Leon Rogers caught eight bass and 10 catfish on minnows in the Stick Pond. Roger Ford caught eight bass in the Membership Pond. Mel Langston caught 30 crappies in the Membership Pond on minnows. Lock and Dam: No report.


Have a fish photo you want to share? Send your photos, along with your name and where you caught the fish, to Sports Editor John Boyette at

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