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Georgetown man catches state record-sized largemouth bass

Fishing

Georgetown man catches state record-sized largemouth bass

When James D. Hitchens of Georgetown set out yesterday for his favorite Sussex County fishing hole, he planned to catch largemouth bass, baiting his line with a live shiner minnow. However, he didn’t expect to set a new state record for the size of the largemouth bass that took his bait. “I’ve never had one over eight pounds,” Hitchens said. “So I was hoping for over eight pounds.”

Hitchens got his wish and then some when he reeled in a 10-pound, 10-ounce female largemouth measuring 26 inches long and 18 3/4 inches in girth, as measured at Taylored Tackle Shop in Seaford and verified by DNREC Fisheries biologists Nathan Rust and Jordan Zimmerman. During the certification process, the tackle shop kept the fish in an aerated tank, and after it was measured and verified, Hitchens released it, alive, back into the pond where he caught it. “I put her right back where she came from,” said Hitchens, a longtime Delaware angler. “I release all my big fish.”

Fisheries staff applauded Hitchens’ good sportsmanship in releasing his record catch. “We encourage catch and release fishing in Delaware, especially with larger fish like this one,” said Fisheries biologist Cathy Martin. “Not only will this fish be back out there for other anglers to enjoy, it should also see another spawning season to pass on its good genes to another generation of largemouth bass and thereby improve our bass stock.”

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