Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Legendary Meeting of Bass Men by Bill Baab

In Daytona I had the good fortune once again to spend some time with Bill Baab, author of the definitive biography of Largemouth Bass World Record Holder George Perry. Bill had recently was able to meet and get to know Manabu Kurita, the Japanese bass angler who recently tied Perry's mark at 22 pounds 4 ounces. Here is a short record of this meeting as well as some photos, courtesy Bill's wife Bea Baab.

A Legendary Meeting of Bass Men

by Bill Baab

After learning that Manabu Kurita was to attend the Bassmaster Classic in New Orleans in February, I thought it would be a great opportunity for him to make a side trip to Georgia.
I contacted the Skeeter boat company and was put in touch with Martin Peters, of Yamaha. I told him that it would be neat if Kurita could come to Georgia and check out Montgomery Lake where George W. Perry had caught his world record bass. Thanks to the generosity of Yamaha and the McRae Rotary Club, Kurita and his party stayed at Little Ocmulgee State Park Lodge, attended a lunch given by the Rotarians in his honor, visited the Telfair County Museum in Helena where George Perry memorabilia was on display and then traveled some 20 miles to the lake.
He was astounded by its small size compared to giant Lake Biwa in Japan where he caught his big bass which tied Perry's record. He also was given a copy of my book by the Rotary Club.

Kurita meets and talks with George Perry's son Daze.

Kurita signs the famous photo of him with his massive bass for the Museum's display.

Kurita's signed photo is displayed with a mount of George Perry's bass.

Lake Montgomery is much different than Lake Biwa!

Another shot of Lake Montgomery.

Kurita and Daze Perry pose by the sign commemorating George Perry's catch.

George Perry biographer Bill Baab poses with Kurita and Perry.

One for the scrap book.

Ever the big bass angler, Kurita can't resist throwing a line into Lake Montgomery.

Many thanks to Bill and Bea Baab for sharing these photos with us! It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime meeting.

-- Dr. Todd

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