Kurita's world record bass tour visits Georgia

The final stop on the Manabu Kurita/Yamaha world record bass tour came Feb. 24 in south Georgia when the Japanese angler who tied the longstanding world record visited the waters where George Perry made history in 1932.

After displaying the mount of his 22-pound, 4.97-ounce largemouth at the Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo in New Orleans, the Yamaha pro staffer visited the legendary waters of Montgomery Lake, an oxbow of the Ocmulgee River in Telfair County, Ga., where Perry caught his 22-4 almost 80 years ago.

Kurita was presented with a banner from the McRae, Ga., Rotary Club after joining a group of Rotarians, local media and bass historians for lunch at Little Ocmulgee State Park. He then stopped by a local museum to see a replica of the Perry fish before going to the lake.

Special guests in attendance included George L. "Dazy" Perry, son of the record holder, and Bill Baab, author of Remembering George Perry, a book about the man and his record setting catch (www.whitefishpress.com).

When asked about the highlight of his trip to the United States, Kurita was quick to say, "Bourbon Street!" Despite the fact that the shy record setter doesn't drink, he enjoyed the nightlife of New Orleans as well as meeting several Bassmaster Classic competitors.

And while most anglers would be content with a largemouth weighing just less than 22-5, Kurita has his sights set on a bigger bass — one that would put him alone atop the record book. He claims to have seen bass in Japan's Lake Biwa that would weigh as much as 30 pounds.