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Fred Rudd of Ottumwa went fishing on July 23 to the same Davis County farm pond where he had caught several 20-inch plus largemouth bass this year. Little did he know when he tossed out his double willow bladed spinner bait that this cast would yield a fish of a lifetime, and one to challenge the long-standing state record largemouth bass from Lake Fisher in May 1984. Lake Fisher is also in Davis County.

Rudd was nervous; he felt fairly confident late Wednesday night that he had a new state record, but a friend brought him a scale Thursday morning and the weight was waffling above and below the existing record.

“When all was said and done and I verified the weight on a licensed scale this 24.1-inch largemouth was 10.6 pounds (10 pounds 9.6 ounces). That’s 2.4 ounces short of the state record, but man, what a fish!” said Mark Flammang, district fisheries biologist stationed at Lake Rathbun. “Did the fish weigh more last night? Likely. Was it the state record last night? That’s one for the ages, and stories over coffee with friends. However, the bottom line is it’s very impressive. Can you imagine what that fish weighed last spring?”

Rudd kept the fish alive until late last night, but it did eventually perish and he is rightfully having this fish mounted. Obviously, he is eligible for an Iowa DNR big fish award, but simply having the reminder on the wall will be amazing.

“This is an incredible fish,” Flammang said. “You just don’t see fish like that in the northern part of the country.”
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