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New State Record For Striped Bass
September 17, 2010

West Virginia State record
The state record for striped bass has been broken by James Brooks of Summers County, according to Frank Jezioro, director of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. Brooks caught the 47.16-inch, 45.70-pound fish from Bluestone Lake in Summers County on Sept. 3, 2010 while trolling a crankbait.
Brooks was fishing with his family and fought the striper for 40 minutes on 8-pound test line. His catch establishes new West Virginia records for length and weight. This striped bass exceeds the previous length record by more than six inches and the weight record by more than 16 pounds.
Anglers who believe that they have caught a state record fish should check the record listing in the current DNR Fishing Regulations brochure. The brochure also outlines the procedure to follow for reporting a state record catch. This information is also available online at www.wvdnr.gov.
 

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Bluestone Lake bass shatters state striper mark by more than 16 pounds


One for the record book
James Brooks happily admits he's no expert fisherman. Fortunately for him, catching a state-record fish doesn't require a Ph.D. in angling.
By John McCoy
The Charleston Gazette
September 25, 2010

Brooks, 30, who lives in the Hinton area, stunned the West Virginia fishing community with his Sept. 3 catch of a record-breaking striped bass - a fish that weighed 10 times more than the biggest fish Brooks had ever before caught.
The catch stunned Brooks, too. When he and his wife pulled their boat away from the Bluestone Lake marina, they had no idea what they might catch.
"We weren't fishing for stripers, or for anything particular," he said. "We were just fishing for whatever would bite."
Bluestone has harbored a small population of striped bass for decades. Most of the fish are refugees that migrate down the New River from Virginia's Claytor Lake. District fisheries biologist Mark Scott said the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources tried to stock the lake with stripers in the early 1980s, but the fish couldn't find enough to eat and eventually fled the 2,040-acre impoundment.
"They took off downstream, down the New River," he said. "Some were caught in the river itself, and some were caught farther downstream near Kanawha Falls."
Not long aftertward, however, Bluestone became a much more hospitable place for stripers. Shad migrated downstream from Claytor Lake sometime in the early 1990s and quickly began thriving in Bluestone's plankton-rich waters. With shad to feed upon, stripers are able to make a living.
Brooks and his wife had seen stripers chasing schools of shad, but hadn't had much success catching them. But late on the afternoon of Sept. 3, their fortunes changed.
"We had caught a few smaller fish - bluegills and things like that - but hadn't hooked anything big," Brooks recalled. "Then we came across this big old striper moving along near the surface eating shad. I cast to it and it hit."
The lure Brooks threw - a black Rooster Tail spinner - bore scant resemblance to the shad the striper was chasing. The fish struck the lure anyway.
Brooks realized immediately that the tackle he was using wasn't strong enough for a straight-up battle with a fish the size of a 6-year-old child. The line on his open-faced spinning reel had a breaking strain of just 8 pounds.
"Once I saw how big the fish was, I eased off on the [reel's] drag and told my wife to use the boat's trolling motor to keep me as close to the fish as possible," Brooks said. "We went around and around for close to 40 minutes before he decided to give up."
James Brooks happily admits he's no expert fisherman. Fortunately for him, catching a state-record fish doesn't require a Ph.D. in angling.
Brooks, 30, who lives in the Hinton area, stunned the West Virginia fishing community with his Sept. 3 catch of a record-breaking striped bass - a fish that weighed 10 times more than the biggest fish Brooks had ever before caught.
The catch stunned Brooks, too. When he and his wife pulled their boat away from the Bluestone Lake marina, they had no idea what they might catch.
"We weren't fishing for stripers, or for anything particular," he said. "We were just fishing for whatever would bite."
Bluestone has harbored a small population of striped bass for decades. Most of the fish are refugees that migrate down the New River from Virginia's Claytor Lake. District fisheries biologist Mark Scott said the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources tried to stock the lake with stripers in the early 1980s, but the fish couldn't find enough to eat and eventually fled the 2,040-acre impoundment.
"They took off downstream, down the New River," he said. "Some were caught in the river itself, and some were caught farther downstream near Kanawha Falls."
Not long aftertward, however, Bluestone became a much more hospitable place for stripers. Shad migrated downstream from Claytor Lake sometime in the early 1990s and quickly began thriving in Bluestone's plankton-rich waters. With shad to feed upon, stripers are able to make a living.
Brooks and his wife had seen stripers chasing schools of shad, but hadn't had much success catching them. But late on the afternoon of Sept. 3, their fortunes changed.
"We had caught a few smaller fish - bluegills and things like that - but hadn't hooked anything big," Brooks recalled. "Then we came across this big old striper moving along near the surface eating shad. I cast to it and it hit."
The lure Brooks threw - a black Rooster Tail spinner - bore scant resemblance to the shad the striper was chasing. The fish struck the lure anyway.
Brooks realized immediately that the tackle he was using wasn't strong enough for a straight-up battle with a fish the size of a 6-year-old child. The line on his open-faced spinning reel had a breaking strain of just 8 pounds.
"Once I saw how big the fish was, I eased off on the [reel's] drag and told my wife to use the boat's trolling motor to keep me as close to the fish as possible," Brooks said. "We went around and around for close to 40 minutes before he decided to give up."
The landing net on the boat wasn't nearly large enough to handle such an enormous fish, but Brooks and his wife used it anyway.
"As soon as we got him over the side of the boat, he went straight through the bottom of that net. It was a close call, but the net lasted exactly as long as it needed to," Brooks said. "But even if it hadn't, I don't know if we'd have lost the fish. If I'd needed to, I'd have gone swimming to keep that fish from getting away."
With the big striper safely on board, Brooks and his wife made a beeline for the Bluestone Marina and showed the fish to marina owner Charles Brown.
"Charlie looked up the [striped bass] record in the fishing regulations, and we pretty quickly realized we had a potential record on our hands," Brooks said. "He got out a tape measure. We could see that it was over the length record, and we estimated its weight at 35 to 40 pounds. The previous record was around 29 pounds, so we decided to find a place to get it officially weighed."
Over the course of the next week, Brooks took the fish to three places before he could get it officially weighed. He kept the fish in a freezer to prevent it from becoming dehydrated, but believes it shrank slightly before its final size could be determined.
Not that it mattered; the big striper taped out at 47.16 inches, 6.28 inches longer than the previous length record. It tipped the scales at 45.7 pounds, a whopping 16.14 pounds heavier than a 29.56-pound fish caught in 2000. Both previous record fish were taken from Bluestone Lake.
"I never imagined I'd catch anything that size. I figured the closest thing might be a big old catfish," Brooks said.
DNR officials wasted little time in declaring Brooks' catch a state record. The fish is now at a taxidermy shop waiting to be mounted. After the taxidermist's work is finished - early next year, in all likelihood - Brooks plans to put it on exhibit at the Bluestone Marina.
"I'd like for Charlie to keep it there during the boating season so everyone can see it," Brooks said.
Asked what he might do for an angling encore, Brooks simply shrugged.
"I'll just keep fishing," he said.
 

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i have to add my input to this after seeing stripers go from none in the 70s and 80s.----wild salt water fish in thier natural habitat, migrateing up and down the east coast....spawning, any fish land locked IN fresh water is not a stript bass that should be counted in a record book.....it was introduced and not a real stock of sport fish. THAY DO NOT COUNT AS A REAL STRIPER!!!!
 
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