Lea Anne Powell may be a professional angler, but even pros get excited when a once-in-a-lifetime fish comes along. That’s what happened to Powell when she hauled a 12-pound, 3-ounce largemouth bass onto her boat on O.H. Ivie Lake near San Angelo, Texas, last February.
And while there are certainly bigger bass out there, what makes it a record is what line she used — Seaguar Red Label 10-pound. The combo of fish weight and line test is what set the record, one now verified by the International Game Fish Association (IGFA).
“It was hooked 45 feet from the boat and 15 feet down on 10-pound line with a spinning rod,” Powell told Texas outlet KETK. “Which, if anybody knows fishing at all, that’s a very hectic situation, and anytime I would get her close to the boat, she would start taking off and kept nosing down, so I was having to adjust the drag when she would take off running.”
But Powell is a pro, and whereas you or I might have suffered a snapped line and watched our record-breaking fish vanish into the muddy Southern waters, Powell got her largemouth bass into the boat with verve.
Verifying the World Record
As it turns out, catching it was the easiest part. Getting Powell’s fish and the subsequent record verified took over three months, a process which finally came to completion on June 23.
As a racecar driver, model, driving instructor, and angler, Powell wasn’t super familiar with the process of applying for a fishing record. Luckily her friend, Dalton Smith, is a local guide on the lake and walked her through the rigamarole.
“The process was fairly intensive. I had to go online, fill out a whole bunch of paperwork, and then I actually had to mail in a line sample of the line that was used to catch the fish,” Powell shared with KETK. “All the paperwork, photos, and documentation that I have had to go through multiple panels and, I believe, internationally.”
In an interview with GearJunkie, Powell stated that she believes passionately in conservation and encourages people to get out on the water and toss a line in. And to her, one of the best parts about fishing is returning the animal to the water.
“Fish handling … is important. And all measures to ensure this fish was safely released were done. She swam off for a chance to be caught again,” the angler said.