For Immediate Release
John Copeland, DGIF Aquatic Biologist, 540-961-8397
NOTE: This news release was distributed on 3/15/2012. The information below may no longer be the most up-to-date information available, or may pertain solely to events that occurred in the past. Please contact the person listed as the contact person for this release for the most current information.
State Record Fish Committee Confirms New State Record Spotted Bass
Richmond, VA - The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) State Record Fish Committee has certified a new state record, a spotted bass weighing in at 4 pounds, 7 ounces and measuring 20 inches long. The new record was caught Saturday, March 10, 2012, on Claytor Lake by Mr. Rod Kegley of Dublin, Virginia. Kegley's prize catch easily exceeded the past state record of 3 pounds, 10 ounces, which also came out of Claytor Lake and was caught by Mike Ritter in 1993.
Kegley, an avid angler, wasn't aware of his record breaking accomplishment until he returned to Rock House Marina. After watching a local tournament weigh-in, Kegley was alerted by another angler that his catch, which looked very much like a largemouth bass, was actually a huge spotted bass. Marina owner Mike Burchett weighed the fish and then held it in the marina's bait tank. VDGIF Aquatic Biologist, John Copeland, and VDGIF Conservation Police Officer David Peake verified Kegley's catch that afternoon.
Kegley, who was casting in deep water along a flat in the 'Peaks Creek' arm of the lake, caught his record spotted bass using an Alabama-style rig called the Yumbrella by Yum Baits. The castable multi-lure is a wire rig similar to a saltwater umbrella rig that is popular among anglers targeting big striped bass and other game fish along Virginia's coast.
Kegley said he regularly likes to "bring a mess of fish home," to cook, but decided his prized catch was too special to hit the frying pan. The record spotted bass was released unharmed back into Claytor Lake for others to enjoy. Kegley stated that spotted bass fishing on Claytor Lake has improved in recent years. The fish are getting larger and Kegley expects it will not take another 19 years to see the record broken again.
For more information about Claytor Lake and Virginia's Angler Recognition Program and other state fish records visit: www.HuntFishVA.com.
About the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
It is the mission of the VDGIF to maintain optimum populations of all species to serve the needs of the Commonwealth; to provide opportunity for all to enjoy wildlife, inland fish, boating and related outdoor recreation and to work diligently to safeguard the rights of the people to hunt, fish and harvest game as provided for in the Constitution of Virginia; to promote safety for persons and property in connection with boating, hunting and fishing; to provide educational outreach programs and materials that foster an awareness of and appreciation for Virginia's fish and wildlife resources, their habitats, and hunting, fishing, and boating opportunities. To learn more about wildlife in Virginia visit www.dgif.virginia.gov.