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“The Biggest Ocklawaha River Florida Largemouth Bass Ever Caught”

“The Biggest Ocklawaha River Florida Largemouth Bass Ever Caught”

Author: “Ocklawahaman” Paul Nosca with the assistance of Captain Erika Ritter…..

All the way back on March 2nd and October 17th of 1975, the Ocala Star-Banner newspaper reported about the catching of a “monster” largemouth bass from the Ocklawaha River (near Moss Bluff) of Marion County, Florida. Mr. Thomas A. Johnson caught the reportedly 21-pound 3-ounce (38.25-inch long) bass on January 2nd, 1975, using a live shiner for bait. The entire newspaper article texts are reprinted at the bottom of this article for your easier reading.

The 1975 photo (printed in the Ocala Star-Banner) taken by the “Oklawaha man” Thomas A. Johnson shows about 1/2 of the bass hanging vertically in front of a Ford (late 60’s to early 70’s) pickup truck tailgate–notice the shadow upon the tailgate. The “5th Generation” of Ford F-series pickup trucks was the 1967 to 1972 models.  I have measured the tailgate heights of several “5th Generation” Ford pickup trucks (the tail light lens displays the model year) at 21 inches in height. Proportionally (using a ruler and calculator), the reportedly 38.25-inch long bass in the 1975 photo (which is hung just a couple of inches in front of the 21-inch tailgate) certainly appears to me to have been well beyond 32 inches long. At least three Florida caught largemouth bass that I know of, were supposedly 32 inches long (about the length of George Perry’s World Record) but only weighed around 17 pounds.

The Thomas A. Johnson 1975 bass is the biggest and longest largemouth bass that I have ever seen any record of from the Ocklawaha or St. Johns River Basins. It ranks among the five biggest or longest largemouth bass ever reportedly caught in the State of Florida–which I have any knowledge of–and it was a RIVER bass!

This river bass was caught at least 25 miles upriver on the Ocklawaha from any part of the much glorified 13,000 acre Rodman Reservoir and would have hatched from its egg many years before the September 30th, 1968 completion of Rodman Dam.

I would point-out that the then “Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission” never concluded that Johnson’s photo, or his story, was a hoax–only that “the commission rejected Johnson’s claim on the basis that there just wasn’t enough proof that the fish WEIGHED more than the current 19 ½ pound record.”

Please let me know if any of you river “bassers” out there have any knowledge of this Mr. Thomas A. Johnson of Ocklawaha, Florida or the bass that he caught back on January 2, 1975.

From the Ocala Star-Banner of March 2, 1975:
“Record Bass? The Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission is attempting to verify a possible record weight for largemouth bass caught in Florida. Thomas A. Johnson of Oklawaha hooked a reported 21 lb., 3 oz., bass in the Ocklawaha River in January using a shiner. If accepted, the fish would be the largest ever caught in the state and would be the second largest ever reported in the United States.”

From the Ocala Star-Banner of October 17, 1975:
“Some months ago, an Oklawaha man staked his claim to a Florida record largemouth bass weighing 21 pounds, 3 ounces. But the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission has rejected the claim, citing a lack of evidence for the catch. Thomas A. Johnson said he caught the monster bass Jan. 2, 1975 in the Ocklawaha River near the Moss Bluff Lock and Spillway in south Marion County. According to Johnson, the fish was 38 ¼ inches long and was caught on a live shiner. Johnson said he used a Zebco One reel, Fenwick Lunker Stik rod and 25-pound test Stren line to land the fish and said he had it weighed and witnessed at a nearby fish camp. Unfortunately for Johnson, he took the bass home and ate it, thereby losing whatever chance he had for the Florida record. Lt. Jim Reed, information officer for the GFWFC in Ocala, said the commission rejected Johnson’s claim on the basis that there just wasn’t enough proof that the fish weighed more than the current 19 ½ pound record. Reed said the picture submitted by Johnson wasn’t enough to substantiate the claim, saying the entire fish would have been the best proof.  The head, or even some scales, could have given the claim more substance, Reed said. So it looks like Johnson has lost his claim to fame and fortune and that elusive record bass still lurks in Florida waters awaiting the right bait.”

ENJOY,
“Ocklawahaman”

6 Responses to ““The Biggest Ocklawaha River Florida Largemouth Bass Ever Caught””

  1. Mark Myers says:

    I don’t put much faith in a picture of a fish in the foreground, with the reference object in the background. In addition, shadows are notorious disproportionate to the the object casting the shadow. Furthermore, the claim of 38+ inches is patently absurd, throwing a cloud of doubt over the whole story from the git-go.

  2. "Ocklawahaman" Paul Nosca says:

    ALL-TIME TOP-25 BIGGEST/HEAVIEST LARGEMOUTH BASS EVER CAUGHT IN FLORIDA
    LIST OF THE ALL-TIME TOP-25 BIGGEST/HEAVIEST FLORIDA LARGEMOUTH BASS ever caught–or REPORTEDLY caught?–in Florida, thru 1-2-11.

    Abbreviations: lb = pound, oz = ounce, in = inch, L = length, G = girth, Co = county.

    No.) REPORTED Weight; Length (if known); Girth (if known); County (if known); Water (if known); Catch Date by Angler (Comment):
    ———————————————————————
    ? A.) 24-lb 12-oz; 39.5 in L; 30 in G: Osceola Co; West Lake Tohopekaliga; 4-20-1974 by Raymond Tomer (FL GFC could not verify weight).

    ? B.) 23-lb 2-oz; 37.5 in L; 29.5 in G; Lake Co; “near Altoona”; 1880’s by H.W. Ross (reported by Dr. J.A. Henshall in the 1881-1913 “Book Of The Black Bass”–16.5-inch girth head of this fish was sent to the office of “Forest & Stream” in New York which merged with “Field & Stream” in 1930).

    ? C.) 22-lb+; Volusia Co; “small lake near Pierson”; Dec 1981 by Billy Johnson (FL GFC could not verify weight).

    ? D.) 21-lb 3-oz; 38.25 in L; Marion Co; Ocklawaha River; 1-2-1975 by Thomas A. Johnson (FL GFC could not verify weight, before it was eaten, although there is a good PHOTO of this EXTREMELY LONG BASS very much longer than a 21-inch height Ford pickup tailgate–”just wasn’t enough proof that the fish WEIGHED MORE than the current 19-pound record”).

    ? E.) 20-lb 7-oz; Hamilton Co; “Occidental pit”; Apr 1993 by “Howard” (reported by Bart Crabb in the 1997 book “The Quest for the World Record Bass”).

    ? F.) 20-lb 5-oz; “our reservoir”?; since 2000? by unknown angler (reported by “John Fox’s Trophy Guide Service”).

    ? G.) 20-lb 4-oz; “our reservoir”?; since 2000? by unknown angler (reported by “John Fox’s Trophy Guide Service”).
    ———————————————————————
    1.) 20-lb 2-oz; 31 in L; 27 in G; Pasco Co; Big Fish Lake; 5-19-1923 by Frederick “Fritz” Friebel (current “non-certified” FL Record).

    2.) 19-lb 12-oz; “our reservoir”?; since 2000? by unknown angler (reported by “John Fox’s Trophy Guide Service”).

    3.) 19-lb 11-oz; 29 in L; 23.25 in G; Indian River Co; Farm 13/Stick Marsh; 7-5-1994 by Doug Thompson (catch and release).

    4.) 19-lb 6-oz; “our reservoir”?; since 2000? by unknown angler (reported by “John Fox’s Trophy Guide Service”).

    5.) 19-lb 4-oz; Taylor Creek Reservoir; 6-30-1974 by Phil Jay.

    6.) 19-lb 2-oz: “our reservoir”?; “(2) bass” since 2000? by unknown anglers (reported by “John Fox’s Trophy Guide Service”).

    7.) 19-lb; Pinellas Co; Lake Tarpon; 6-26-1961 by W.A. Riley Witt (former “non-certified” FL Record).

    8.) 18-lb 15-oz; Pinellas Co; Lake Tarpon, 1961 by unknown angler.

    9.) 18-lb 13-oz; 29.5 in L; 26.5 in G; Clay Co; St. Johns River; 4-12-1987 by Buddy Wright.

    10.) 18-lb 8-oz; Polk Co; Orange Grove Lake; Jan 2008 by Jeffrey Smith (catch and release).
    10.) 18-lb 8-oz; Alachua Co; Newnan’s Lake; pre-1986 by Wayne Jacobs.
    10.) 18-lb 8-oz; Leon Co; Lake Jackson; Mar 1967 by unknown angler.

    11.) 18-lb 5-oz; Madison Co; 3-25-1968 by Bobbie Haskell.

    12.) 18-lb 4-oz; St. Johns River; 12-16-1948 by J.W. Smith.

    13.) 18-lb 2-oz; Clay Co; Lake Brooklyn; 3-12-1966 by Hugh Paul.
    13.) 18-lb 2-oz; Taylor Creek Reservoir; 6-25-1974 by Phil Jay.

    14.) 18-lb 1-oz; “our reservoir”?; “(6) bass over 18lbs” since 2000? by unknown anglers (reported by “John Fox’s Trophy Guide Service”).
    14.) 18-lb 1-oz; Polk Co; Orange Grove Lake; by Jeffrey Smith (catch and release).
    14.) 18-lb 1-oz; Indian River Co; Farm 13/Stick Marsh; 4-4-1994 by Robert Bloom (catch and release).
    14.) 18-lb 1-oz; Indian River Co; Lake Blue Cypress; pre-1975 by unknown angler.

    15.) 18-lb; Polk Co; Orange Grove Lake; by Steve Smith (catch and release).
    15.) 18-lb; Polk Co; Lake Marion; pre-1992 by unknown angler.
    15.) 18-lb; 30 in L; 25 in G; Franklin Co; Tucker Lake; 1964 by L. L. Petty.
    15.) 18-lb; Lake George (St. Johns River); 5-3-1958 by Marlin Coston.
    15.) 18-lb; Putnam Co; Ashley Lake; 3-25-1951 by Carl Swisher.
    15.) 18-lb; Citrus Co; Homosassa River; pre-1992 unknown angler.
    15.) 18-lb; Withlacoochee River; pre-1992 by unknown angler.

    16.) 17-lb 15-oz; Mar 1988 by Donald Brunson.

    17.) 17-lb 12-oz; Osceola Co; West Lake Tohopekaliga; 7-11-1986 by John Faircloth.

    18.) 17-lb 9-oz; Lake George (St. Johns River); pre-1974 by Babette Morgan.

    19.) 17-lb 8-oz; “our reservoir”?; 2007 by Butch Barnhart (reported by “John Fox’s Trophy Guide Service”).
    19.) 17-lb 8-oz; “our reservoir”?; 2007 by Wesley Jennings (reported by “John Fox’s Trophy Guide Service”).
    19.) 17-lb 8-oz; 28 in L; 25 in G; Orange Co; Lake Rose; 1985 by Mike Paule.
    19.) 17-lb 8-oz; 28 in L; 25 in G; Okaloosa Co; Hurricane Lake; 3-19-1983 by Robert Earl Dunsford.
    19.) 17-lb 8-oz; Lake George (St. Johns River); pre-1974 by Justin Morgan.

    20.) 17-lb 7-oz; Lake Co; “small sand mine pond”; pre-1998 by Bing McClellan.

    21.) 17-lb 6-oz; Polk Co; Lake Winterset; by Jeffrey Smith (catch and release).

    22.) 17-lb 4-oz; Polk Co; Lake Summit; by Jeffrey Smith (catch and release).
    22.) 17-lb 4-oz; 25 in L?; Orange Co; Raccoon Lake; 3-3-1992 by Linda Richardson.
    22.) 17-lb 4-oz; Alachua Co; Orange Lake; pre-1990 by unknown angler.
    22.) 17-lb 4-oz; Walton Co; King(s) Lake; 1987 by unknown angler.
    22.) 17-lb 4-oz; 30 in L; 22.5 in G; Polk Co; unnamed lake; 7-6-1986 by Billy O’Berry (current “certified” FL Record).
    22.) 17-lb 4-oz; 29.7 in L; 1973 by Doug Hannon.
    22.) 17-lb 4-oz; 32 in L; Lake Okeechobee; Feb 1971 by J.J. Shaw.

    23.) 17-lb 3-oz; near Winter Haven; by Jeffrey Smith (catch and release).
    23.) 17-lb 3-oz; Marion Co; Lake Weir; 1960’s or 1970’s by unknown angler.

    24.) 17-lb 2-oz; 27 in L; Lake Ocklawaha (“Rodman Reservoir”); 3-11-2000 by E.C. “Doodle Bug” Dressler.
    24.) 17-lb 2-oz; “Lake Record in the Holmes Creek area”; pre-1989 by Randolph Field.
    24.) 17-lb 2-oz; pre-1983 by Carl Wagner.

    25.) 17-lb 1-oz; near Winter Haven; by Jeffrey Smith (catch and release).

    26.) 17-lb; Bay Co; Felix Lake (Tydall AFB); pre-2009.
    26.) 17-lb; “our reservoir”?; 2007 by Bernie Leff (reported by “John Fox’s Trophy Guide Service”).
    26.) 17-lb; Putnam Co; Crescent Lake (St. Johns River); 1980’s by unknown angler.
    26.) 17-lb; 32 in L; Lake Co; Lake Schimmerhorn (Ocala NF); 1970’s by unknown angler.
    26.) 17-lb; 32 in L; Marion Co; Half Moon Lake (Ocala NF); 1970’s by unknown angler.
    26.) 17-lb; Marion Co; Lake Bryant (Ocala NF); pre-1975 by unknown angler.
    END.

  3. "Ocklawahaman" Paul Nosca says:

    “The Biggest Ocklawaha River Florida Largemouth Bass Ever Caught”

    I know that a 38-inch long largemouth bass seems “far-fetched” but I list any and all giant Florida bass reportedly caught (past or present) that have been reported by others. It’s a “dirty” job but somebody has to do it–without bias! Ha! Ha!

    I can state with complete confidence that full-size Ford pickup truck tailgates from that era are about 21 inches in height. My best guess is that the 1975 bass was at least 32 inches long–maybe longer?

    Here are some links to the old photos of the 1932 George Perry 22-pound 4-ounce Georgia largemouth and the 1923 Fritz Friebel 20-pound 2-ounce Florida largemouth. Both of those huge bass were eaten after being weighed and photographed–just like the Thomas A. Johnson 1975 bass was.

    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=…1t:429,r:1,s:0

    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=…1t:429,r:2,s:0

    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=…t:429,r:19,s:0

    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=…1t:429,r:1,s:0

    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=…1t:429,r:2,s:0

    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=…1t:429,r:4,s:0

    If there are any better, more complete lists of the 25 or so biggest Florida largemouth bass ever reportedly caught–freely available online to interested “bassers”–please provide the links for all “Riverbassin” readers (including me) to view!

    ENJOY,
    “Ocklawahaman”

  4. "Ocklawahaman" Paul Nosca says:

    These photo links should work:

    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.bigbass.co.za/GeorgePerryWRBass%2520crX.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.bigbass.co.za/&usg=__jGv54Yj_UirvmmrAn_4v4CVRIVY=&h=565&w=375&sz=48&hl=en&start=0&sig2=zgXyMhWgQ3yRu2FXJFWptQ&zoom=1&tbnid=3-latXZix5w1oM:&tbnh=168&tbnw=112&ei=qtIlTYvJH8T6lwfs46DSCw&prev=/images%3Fq%3D%2522george%2Bperry%2522%2B%2522bass%2522%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG%26biw%3D1280%26bih%3D933%26tbs%3Disch:1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=267&vpy=54&dur=1852&hovh=276&hovw=183&tx=117&ty=173&oei=qtIlTYvJH8T6lwfs46DSCw&esq=1&page=1&ndsp=32&ved=1t:429,r:1,s:0

    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.mrlurebox.com/pflueger/Perrybassphoto.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.mrlurebox.com/GeorgePerryBass.htm&usg=__ytCNriaMedIPWJUEl1qT4VEP6yY=&h=1698&w=1125&sz=1272&hl=en&start=0&sig2=ZiS8e0u9kqvECa0Hvql36A&zoom=1&tbnid=q2xZyoTBZLQT0M:&tbnh=168&tbnw=111&ei=qtIlTYvJH8T6lwfs46DSCw&prev=/images%3Fq%3D%2522george%2Bperry%2522%2B%2522bass%2522%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG%26biw%3D1280%26bih%3D933%26tbs%3Disch:1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=390&vpy=53&dur=73&hovh=276&hovw=183&tx=97&ty=170&oei=qtIlTYvJH8T6lwfs46DSCw&esq=1&page=1&ndsp=32&ved=1t:429,r:2,s:0

    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.bassanglermag.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/George-Perry.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.bassanglermag.com/2010/03/george-perry-heritage/&usg=__WA1Bl-bNRQYA6QSY8YEJPaWU4Mg=&h=1509&w=1104&sz=1120&hl=en&start=0&sig2=GnXZ_6baTpxOApMrfq9hLA&zoom=1&tbnid=fuwqLCdx0PqiSM:&tbnh=167&tbnw=121&ei=n9QlTaPuO4SBlAfkjqGwCA&prev=/images%3Fq%3D%2522george%2Bperry%2522%2B%2522bass%2522%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG%26biw%3D1280%26bih%3D933%26tbs%3Disch:1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=133&vpy=547&dur=3146&hovh=263&hovw=192&tx=128&ty=138&oei=n9QlTaPuO4SBlAfkjqGwCA&esq=1&page=1&ndsp=32&ved=1t:429,r:19,s:0

    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.waltonoutdoors.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/bass1.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.waltonoutdoors.com/florida-state-wide-bass-tournament-offering-million-dollar-bounty/&usg=__PCjo9eWRsbGCsA8t-axBlOQ1voM=&h=599&w=480&sz=227&hl=en&start=0&sig2=vcJZx3YoJS2NXhuicPf35w&zoom=1&tbnid=EeAAMlAN4JmgRM:&tbnh=163&tbnw=138&ei=stMlTcrQKYOdlgft3eGcDg&prev=/images%3Fq%3D%2522fritz%2Bfriebel%2522%2B%2522bass%2522%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG%26biw%3D1280%26bih%3D933%26tbs%3Disch:1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=305&vpy=68&dur=1375&hovh=251&hovw=201&tx=120&ty=145&oei=stMlTcrQKYOdlgft3eGcDg&esq=1&page=1&ndsp=33&ved=1t:429,r:1,s:0

    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://bassonline.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/News_10_FBJune1.jpg&imgrefurl=http://bassonline.com/wp/2010/06/01/angling-for-a-million-dollar-largemouth-bass/&usg=__urIUeQaiY1V1JrKYUC84BcB0zoQ=&h=1495&w=1198&sz=1162&hl=en&start=0&sig2=97SobPmzdlWxBa6UzRDUWA&zoom=1&tbnid=S-t_kolrw21_fM:&tbnh=163&tbnw=131&ei=stMlTcrQKYOdlgft3eGcDg&prev=/images%3Fq%3D%2522fritz%2Bfriebel%2522%2B%2522bass%2522%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG%26biw%3D1280%26bih%3D933%26tbs%3Disch:1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=451&vpy=63&dur=1835&hovh=251&hovw=201&tx=90&ty=147&oei=stMlTcrQKYOdlgft3eGcDg&esq=1&page=1&ndsp=33&ved=1t:429,r:2,s:0

    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.pixelarchitecture.com/todd/Sonnett_WR_Bass_02.jpg&imgrefurl=http://fishinghistory.blogspot.com/2010_01_01_archive.html&usg=__6yGR95fuck0C6wSYFrCdJqZkjVM=&h=599&w=420&sz=100&hl=en&start=0&sig2=ftjMfhP87Qh7EnDYQXNc3w&zoom=1&tbnid=S2OduzAd2IY_QM:&tbnh=163&tbnw=113&ei=QtQlTazxBoO88gabuazUAQ&prev=/images%3Fq%3D%2522fritz%2Bfriebel%2522%2B%2522bass%2522%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG%26biw%3D1280%26bih%3D933%26tbs%3Disch:1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=737&vpy=55&dur=885&hovh=268&hovw=188&tx=81&ty=150&oei=stMlTcrQKYOdlgft3eGcDg&esq=4&page=1&ndsp=33&ved=1t:429,r:4,s:0

    “Ocklawahaman”

  5. "Ocklawahaman" Paul Nosca says:

    Some big largemouth bass specimens caught over the years in Florida were long in inches of total length but lean in pounds and ounces of weight. The documented world record longest largemouth bass ever caught anywhere was caught from Lake Toho in Florida by Bill Whipple on 8-11-2002 and was 33 inches in total length but weighed an amazingly light 14 pounds 6 ounces! At least three undocumented bass were reportedly 32 inches long but only weighed 17 to 17.25 pounds each.
    ———————————————————————
    List of the “ALL-TIME TOP-25 BIGGEST/HEAVIEST FLORIDA LARGEMOUTH BASS EVER CAUGHT (OR REPORTEDLY CAUGHT) IN FLORIDA”, thru 5-4-11.
    Abbreviations: lb = pound, oz = ounce, in = inch, L = length, G = girth, Co = county.
    No.) REPORTED Weight; Length (if known); Girth (if known); County (if known); Water (if known); Catch Date by Angler (Comment):
    ———————————————————————
    A.) 24-lb 12-oz; 39.5 in L; 30 in G: Osceola Co; West Lake Tohopekaliga; 4-20-1974 by Raymond Tomer (FL GFC could not certify weight).
    B.) 23-lb 2-oz; 37.5 in L; 29.5 in G; Lake Co; “near Altoona”; 1880′s by H.W. Ross (reported by Dr. J.A. Henshall in the 1881-1913 “Book Of The Black Bass”–16.5-inch girth head of this fish was sent to the office of “Forest & Stream” in New York which merged with “Field & Stream” in 1930).
    C.) 22-lb+; Volusia Co; “small lake near Pierson”; Dec 1981 by Billy Johnson (FL GFC could not certify weight).
    D.) 21-lb 3-oz; 38.25 in L; Marion Co; Ocklawaha River; 1-2-1975 by Thomas A. Johnson (FL GFC could not certify weight, before it was eaten, although there is a good PHOTO of this EXTREMELY LONG BASS very much longer than a 21-inch height Ford pickup tailgate–”just wasn’t enough proof that the fish WEIGHED MORE than the current 19-pound record”).
    E.) 20-lb 7-oz; Hamilton Co; “Occidental pit”; Apr 1993 by “Howard” (reported by Bart Crabb in the 1997 book “The Quest for the World Record Bass”).
    F.) 20-lb 5-oz; by unknown angler (reported by “John Fox’s Trophy Guide Service”).
    G.) 20-lb 4-oz; by unknown angler (reported by “John Fox’s Trophy Guide Service”).
    ———————————————————————
    1.) 20-lb 2-oz; 31 in L; 27 in G; Pasco Co; Big Fish Lake; 5-19-1923 by Frederick “Fritz” Friebel (documented current “non-certified” FL Record).
    2.) 19-lb 12-oz; by unknown angler (reported by “John Fox’s Trophy Guide Service”).
    3.) 19-lb 11-oz; 29 in L; 23.25 in G; Indian River Co; Farm 13/Stick Marsh; 7-5-1994 by Doug Thompson.
    4.) 19-lb 6-oz; by unknown angler (reported by “John Fox’s Trophy Guide Service”).
    5.) 19-lb 4-oz; Taylor Creek Reservoir; 6-30-1974 by Phil Jay.
    6.) 19-lb 2-oz: (2 bass) by unknown anglers (reported by “John Fox’s Trophy Guide Service”).
    7.) 19-lb; Pinellas Co; Lake Tarpon; 6-26-1961 by W.A. Riley Witt (documented former “non-certified” FL Record).
    8.) 18-lb 15-oz; Pinellas Co; Lake Tarpon, 1961 by unknown angler.
    9.) 18-lb 13-oz; 29.5 in L; 26.5 in G; Clay Co; St. Johns River; 4-12-1987 by Buddy Wright (documented).
    10.) 18-lb 8-oz; Polk Co; Orange Grove Lake; Jan 2008 by Jeffrey Smith.
    10.) 18-lb 8-oz; Alachua Co; Newnan’s Lake; by Wayne Jacobs.
    10.) 18-lb 8-oz; Leon Co; Lake Jackson; Mar 1967 by unknown angler.
    11.) 18-lb 5-oz; Madison Co; 3-25-1968 by Bobbie Haskell.
    12.) 18-lb 4-oz; St. Johns River; 12-16-1948 by J.W. Smith.
    13.) 18-lb 2-oz; Clay Co; Lake Brooklyn; 3-12-1966 by Hugh Paul.
    13.) 18-lb 2-oz; Taylor Creek Reservoir; 6-25-1974 by Phil Jay.
    14.) 18-lb 1-oz; (6 bass over 18lbs) by unknown anglers (reported by “John Fox’s Trophy Guide Service”).
    14.) 18-lb 1-oz; Polk Co; Orange Grove Lake; by Jeffrey Smith.
    14.) 18-lb 1-oz; Indian River Co; Farm 13/Stick Marsh; 4-4-1994 by Robert Bloom.
    14.) 18-lb 1-oz; Indian River Co; Lake Blue Cypress; by unknown angler.
    15.) 18-lb; Polk Co; Orange Grove Lake; by Steve Smith.
    15.) 18-lb; Polk Co; Lake Marion; by unknown angler.
    15.) 18-lb; 30 in L; 25 in G; Franklin Co; Tucker Lake; 1964 by L. L. Petty (documented).
    15.) 18-lb; Lake George (St. Johns River); 5-3-1958 by Marlin Coston.
    15.) 18-lb; Putnam Co; Ashley Lake; 3-25-1951 by Carl Swisher.
    15.) 18-lb; Citrus Co; Homosassa River; by unknown angler.
    15.) 18-lb; Withlacoochee River; by unknown angler.
    16.) 17-lb 15-oz; Mar 1988 by Donald Brunson (documented).
    17.) 17-lb 12-oz; Osceola Co; West Lake Tohopekaliga; 7-11-1986 by John Faircloth (documented).
    18.) 17-lb 9-oz; Lake George (St. Johns River); by Babette Morgan.
    19.) 17-lb 8-oz; 2007 by Butch Barnhart (reported by “John Fox’s Trophy Guide Service”).
    19.) 17-lb 8-oz; 2007 by Wesley Jennings (reported by “John Fox’s Trophy Guide Service”).
    19.) 17-lb 8-oz; 28 in L; 25 in G; Orange Co; Lake Rose; 1985 by Mike Paule (documented).
    19.) 17-lb 8-oz; 28 in L; 25 in G; Okaloosa Co; Hurricane Lake; 3-19-1983 by Robert Earl Dunsford (documented).
    19.) 17-lb 8-oz; Lake George (St. Johns River); by Justin Morgan.
    20.) 17-lb 7-oz; Lake Co; “small sand mine pond”; by Bing McClellan.
    21.) 17-lb 6-oz; Polk Co; Lake Winterset; by Jeffrey Smith.
    22.) 17-lb 4-oz; Polk Co; Lake Summit; by Jeffrey Smith.
    22.) 17-lb 4-oz; Orange Co; Raccoon Lake; 3-3-1992 by Linda Richardson (documented).
    22.) 17-lb 4-oz; Alachua Co; Orange Lake; by unknown angler.
    22.) 17-lb 4-oz; Walton Co; King(s) Lake; 1987 by unknown angler.
    22.) 17-lb 4-oz; 30 in L; 22.5 in G; Polk Co; unnamed lake; 7-6-1986 by Billy O’Berry (documented current “certified” FL Record).
    22.) 17-lb 4-oz; 29.7 in L; 1973 by Doug Hannon.
    22.) 17-lb 4-oz; 32 in L; Lake Okeechobee; Feb 1971 by J.J. Shaw.
    23.) 17-lb 3-oz; near Winter Haven; by Jeffrey Smith.
    23.) 17-lb 3-oz; Marion Co; Lake Weir; by unknown angler.
    24.) 17-lb 2-oz; 29.75 in L; Lake Ocklawaha (“Rodman Reservoir”); 3-11-2000 by E.C. “Doodle Bug” Dressler.
    24.) 17-lb 2-oz; “Lake Record in the Holmes Creek area”; by Randolph Field.
    24.) 17-lb 2-oz; by Carl Wagner.
    25.) 17-lb 1-oz; near Winter Haven; by Jeffrey Smith.
    26.) 17-lb; Bay Co; Felix Lake (Tydall AFB); by unknown angler.
    26.) 17-lb; 2007 by Bernie Leff (reported by “John Fox’s Trophy Guide Service”).
    26.) 17-lb; Putnam Co; Crescent Lake (St. Johns River); by unknown angler.
    26.) 17-lb; 32 in L; Lake Co; Lake Schimmerhorn (Ocala NF); by unknown angler.
    26.) 17-lb; 32 in L; Marion Co; Half Moon Lake (Ocala NF); by unknown angler.
    26.) 17-lb; Marion Co; Lake Bryant (Ocala NF); by unknown angler.

  6. "Ocklawahaman" Paul Nosca says:

    Some Moon Data From Some Of The Biggest Florida-Caught Largemouth Bass

    Almost every time that I have had a reported catch date and approximate catch time of these huge bass to research–I find that they were caught within about 2 hours of MOON-RISE, MOON-SET, MOON-OVER, or MOON-UNDER.

    I have never really established a pattern with the MOON PHASE (NEW, FIRST QUARTER, FULL, and LAST QUARTER) however.

    See my RiverBassin article from 07 November 2010 entiltled “Does The Moon Affect Daily Bass Feeding Activity Even In A River?”

    And of course, view my RiverBassin article from 26 May 2011 entitled “Florida’s Top 25 Biggest, Heaviest Or Longest Largemouth Bass…An Updated Report”.

    For the latest and most accurate updates to the LIST, look at my RiverBassin forum posting “All-Time Top-25 Biggest/Heaviest Florida-caught Largemouth Bass latest edition…”

    MOON PHASE and MOON POSITION (i.e. RISE, SET, OVER, or UNDER) data for 4 huge largemouth bass catches from “Ocklawahaman” Paul Nosca’s list of the:
    “ALL-TIME TOP-25 BIGGEST/HEAVIEST FLORIDA LARGEMOUTH BASS EVER CAUGHT (OR REPORTEDLY CAUGHT) IN FLORIDA” updated thru 7-3-2011.

    D.) 21-lb 3-oz; 38.25 in L; Marion Co; Ocklawaha River; 1-2-1975 by Thomas A. Johnson (GFC couldn’t certify weight, before it was eaten, although there is a good photo of this extremely long bass very much longer than a 21-inch height Ford pickup tailgate–”just wasn’t enough proof that the fish weighed more than the current 19-pound record”).

    According to the computer program that I use, Thursday January 2nd, 1975 was 2 days before LAST QUARTER moon phase. Analysis of the shadow in the photo from the newspaper article reporting the Thomas A. Johnson bass seems to show that this fish was probably caught in the afternoon, maybe during the MOON-UNDER 4-hour feeding period for that day. On 2-Jan-1975, MOON-SET was 1034 hours EST (10:34 am), MOON-RISE was 2300 hours EST (11:00 pm), and MOON-UNDER was 1647 hours EST (4:47 pm). The MOON-UNDER 4-hour “major” feeding period would have been from 1447 to 1847 hours EST (2:47 pm to 6:47 pm).

    12.) 18-lb 13-oz; 29.5 in L; 26.5 in G; Clay Co; St. Johns River; 4-12-1987 by Buddy Wright (documented).

    According to the computer program that I use, Sunday April 12th, 1987 was 1 day before FULL MOON phase. The magazine report about the Buddy Wright bass implies that this fish was caught somewhere around 5 to 6 pm which would be during the MOON-RISE 4-hour feeding period for that day. On 12-Apr-1987, MOON-RISE was 1742 hours EST (5:42 pm) or 1842 hours EDT (6:42 pm) and the MOON-RISE 4-hour “minor” feeding period would have been from 1542 to 1942 hours EST (3:42 to 7:42 pm) or 1642 to 2042 hours EDT (4:42 to 8:42 pm).

    25.) 17-lb 4-oz; 30 in L; 22.5 in G; Polk Co; unnamed lake; 7-6-1986 by Billy O’Berry (documented current certified Florida state record).

    According to the computer program that I use, Sunday July 6th, 1986 was NEW MOON phase. The magazine report about the Billy O’Berry bass says that this fish was caught about 7:05 am EDT which would be during the MOON-RISE 4-hour feeding period for that day. On 6-Jul-1986, MOON-RISE was 0442 hours EST (4:42 am) or 0542 hours EDT (5:42 am) and the MOON-RISE 4-hour “minor” feeding period would have been from 0242 to 0642 hours EST (2:42 to 6:42 am) or 0342 to 0742 hours EDT (3:42 to 7:42 am).

    27.) 17-lb 2-oz; 29.75 in L; Lake Ocklawaha (Rodman Reservoir); 3-11-2000 by E.C. “Doodle Bug” Dressler.

    According to the computer program that I use, Saturday March 11th, 2000 was 2 days before FIRST QUARTER moon phase. A report about the E.C. “Doodle Bug” Dressler bass shows that this fish was caught in the late morning before noon which would be during the MOON-RISE 4-hour feeding period for that day. On 11-Mar-2000, MOON-RISE was 1026 hours EST (10:26 am) and the MOON-RISE 4-hour “minor” feeding period would have been from 0826 to 1226 hours EST (8:26 am to 12:26 pm).

    As far as largemouth bass caught in Florida are concerned, fisheries biologists generally define 20-inch to 23.9-inch total length fish as “MEMORABLE” catches and those from 24-inches or longer total length as “TROPHY” size bass.

    My own “MEMORABLE” and “TROPHY” sized Florida-caught largemouth bass, that I kept logs on, have almost always been hooked within 2 hours before or after MOON-RISE, MOON-SET, MOON-OVER, and MOON-UNDER! And for over a decade, I didn’t believe in this “moon-madness” stuff and refused to fish according to it. I just went bass fishing whenever, without thinking about the mooon, BUT kept records! Again, I have found no real pattern with my own “MEMORABLE” and “TROPHY” catches as to moon phase–it’s actually been pretty even–NEW and FULL moons verses HALF (First Quarter and Last Quarter) moons.

    I’ll try to report more data when I can obtain it!

    Sincerely,
    “Ocklawahaman” Paul Nosca

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