In March, 65-year-old James R. Bramlett managed to catch a 70-pound, 45.5-inch long striped bass. It was an unlikely fishing trip at Alabama’s Black Warrior River, one that Bramlett only took because of a schedule conflict. The result was a bass large enough to overtake a world record that has stood for over 21 years, and absolutely shattered a 57-year-old state record.
“Shocking,” said fisheries biologist Heath Haley after seeing the fish. “This is definitely a once in a lifetime catch. Mr. Bramlett is an extremely generous, humble person and I’m excited to see him receive recognition for this fish.”
Bramlett was careful to properly document his catch and submit the required materials to both state authorities and the International Game Fish Association (IGFA). After several months of waiting, he was finally rewarded with his patience in the form of a world record. The IGFA measurements only slightly differed from those made by Bramlett and the bass was inducted into the organization’s record books.
The fish is currently at a taxidermist and it is expected to take a good chunk of wall space when it is finished.
Read OutdoorHub’s original coverage of the catch here.
Certifying a record can sometimes be a tricky affair. While most anglers deal with a straightforward process, some can find themselves bogged down in technicalities. An unfortunate example is the 68-pound striped bass landed by Rodney Ply in 2012. The catch caused controversy when both Arkansas officials and IGFA refused to recognize the fish because of the way it was caught and documented. Ply was denied both a state and world record as well as a $1 million prize offered by Mustad’s “Hook-a-million” contest. Since then a petition has surfaced to persuade IGFA to reconsider their position and Ply has hired legal council.
Now months later, Bramlett’s large catch seemed to have knocked Ply out of the running, at least for the record. You can read more about Ply’s case here.