New state record 'meanmouth'

Curtis Walker holds the 4.76-pound record meanmouth bass. 

Curtis Walker, St. Charles, Mo., caught the new Missouri state record meanmouth bass, a smallmouth/spotted bass hybrid, Sunday, Oct. 5, 2003, while fishing the Missouri BASS Federation State Tournament on Table Rock Lake out of Kimberling City, Mo.

The fish is locally known as an extremely strong fighting fish, and Walker's experience verified that understanding. Walker stated, "It was the hardest-fighting fish I have ever caught. Actually, on one dive, the fish pulled my rod into the water down to the reel." He caught the fish on a main lake hump in 33 feet of water on a homemade brown/purple 5/16-ounce jig tipped with a Yamamoto cinnamon/purple twin-tailed grub.

While the former record (recognized by Missouri as a hybrid black bass) was 4.10 pounds, Walker's fish tipped the scales at 4.76 pounds, surpassing the old mark by 10 ounces. Walker thought the fish was a spotted bass, while the tournament emcee called it a smallmouth. A fishing handler recognized the fish as a meanmouth. Once the fish was weighed on certified scales, the live fish was delivered to Bass Pro Shops in Springfield, Mo., where, after a 30-day quarantine process, it could become part of their live display. For a full story, visit www.midwestbasstournaments.com.