A Record Setting Largemouth
For golfers it s a hole-in-one. For baseball fans, its a perfect game. For bass fisherman, it is the quest for a 10-pounder. On April, 12th, 49-year-old Fairfax resident, Gary Kincheloe, landed a 10 pound 1 ounce largemouth bass on the Potomac River.
While not near the 70-year old world largemouth record of 22 pounds, 4 ounces, it was the biggest local catch in decades. The previous Potomac River record, 9 pounds 1 ounce, was set in 1975. "Since 1991 we have sampled more than 10,000 largemouth bass in Potomac River electrofishing surveys. Although 5 to 6 pounders are fairly common, only one fish was weighed over 7 pounds. Tournaments monitored over that same period, weighed nearly 100,000 bass and only two over 8 lbs were documented, said Don Cosdin, MD Fisheries Southern Regional Manager.
Kincheloes fish was nearly 2 pounds larger than any caught on the Potomac during all of the BASSMASTERS events over the past 15 years.
The water temperature had dropped to 55 degrees and Kincheloe had caught a few fish of average size in 7 hours until about 3:30 in the afternoon.
The wind was blowing and we were trying to get out of the wind, so we went to the Spoils (a protected cove near the Wilson Bridge), we had been catching bigger fish on crankbaits. I was using a shallow running crank then switched to a crawfish colored Rapala jointed Shad Rap with Mustad Ultra Point Triple Grip Trebles.
Kincheloe explained that the Shad Rap lure runs a bit deeper and was able to cover depths from 2 feet to about 8 feet. He had this bait rigged on a G-Loomis cranking rod with a Shimano Chronarch reel spooled with 14-pound test Berkley XL line.
I was just bouncing the bait off the wood and all of a sudden my bait stopped and it felt like I was hung up, then it moved some and I knew I had a fish.
Kincheloe said the fight lasted about 10 minutes. His partner Derek Moyer landed the fish for him and they guessed the fish would weigh about 8-10 pounds. I received a call from Kincheloe just after he caught it to bring a scale and a camera. I have had the pleasure of fishing with him and around him. When he pulled up to Belle Haven Marina and showed a few guys, the cameras came out and the crowd gathered. Kids were excited.
Even my wife, who doesnt fish a lot, understood this part of history.
We were absolutely concerned about the fish
we would let some guys see it in the livewell and wait until a crowd grew before taking it out to share it with them.
To keep the fish alive, Kincheloe added Rejuvenade fish treatment (www.bassmedics.com) to his aerated livewells while he drove it to be weighed and photographed. He then released the fish, which swam off right away. According to DNR officials, this record-breaking fish might not get the official record because it was not weighed in Maryland. Maryland has jurisdiction over the Potomac River. Part of the requirement for certifying a record fish is to have it examined by a Maryland Fisheries biologist. In reality, you would have to bring in a dead fish. A live healthy fish, properly aerated and with the use of todays advances in water additives like Rejuvenade, can withstand a long period of captivity. But, on a weekend for a day or two in warm weather in a livewell? Not likely!
This fish puts to rest all other claims and fabrications by guides and anglers as to who has caught the largest bass on the Potomac River. An angler, who has taken every step to verify and validate his catch while keeping the fish alive should be rewarded, not penalized. This defeats the true spirit of Catch and Release practiced by a majority of anglers.
Kincheloes released 10+ pound fish will do more to highlight Catch and Release and the Potomac River than anyone could imagine. It was a hard decision to put it on the wall or return it. I just love fishing in the Potomac so much I dont mind putting it back because I know it is going to produce more fish.
The magnitude of his 10+ pound fish in the Potomac is growing. In just the few days after Kincheloe released his fish, the rumors and legend grew. Dock Talk increased the size of this fish to nearly 11 pounds. The local media is covering this great event with an asterisk
this fish is the record! It was weighted on a certified scale and there were dozens of witnesses.
Kincheloe, who owns a heating and air conditioning business, said he fishes at least 2 days a week all year out of a Gambler 2200 with 250 Mercury outboard. He has fished the BASSMASTER Federation Region1 and other local tournaments, like St Jude Childrens Hospital Tournaments, for the past 4 years.
As to whether it made a difference to have a fish over the 10-pound mark, 10 pounds puts you in the double digits and looks bigger in print.
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