Here’s a look at some “old” records from the annals of California bass fishing lore. These records, published in the May through August issues of the California Lunker Club newsletter, reveal quite a bit of interesting information about the time.
For one, out of the 10 lake records held by CLC members, only three are “teeners,” the rest being all under that magic 13-pound mark. And, of all the fish that weighed under that mark, only one was a Florida. Initially, Floridas were only stocked in the San Diego lakes but eventually they spread throughout the state via CA-DFG stocking programs. For me, it’s really nostalgic to see the northern strain records for lakes I fished as a kid.
There is also one, possibly two records in this list that are still current world records. For sure Rip Nunnery’s one-day 15-bass limit Bassmaster record will never be broken. This record means something to me because the tackle shop I grew up in has those fish mounted on the wall and Rip was a dear friend of mine. The other record that may still stand, I need to confirm it though, is “Lunker” Bill Murphy’s 15-1/2-pound bass caught in a tournament.
Another record of interest is the California 5-fish limit record of Roger Dickson. Five fish for 40-pounds 10-ounces is a heck of a record, even today, but for southern California in 1971 I’m sure it turned some heads. My good friend and fellow bass blogger George Kramer recently wrote about this record catch and had a little SoCal history in his post to boot. You can check it out here.
For those of you that fished during these times or even belonged to the CLC during its four-year reign (1971-1974) I hope this brings back some fond memories. And, if any of you old CLC members are out there, please drop us a line and let us know how you’re doing. Who knows, maybe we’ll feature a story about you and the old days here on BFA.