Confirmed: New Texas spot record - Major League Fishing

Confirmed: New Texas spot record

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Erik Atkins and his pending Texas state record spotted bass. The fish weighed 5.62 pounds and measured 22 3/4 inches.
January 24, 2011 • MLF • Archives

DNA tests at Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s laboratory at the A.E. Wood Fish Hatchery in San Marcos have confirmed that the 5.62-pound bass caught from Lake Alan Henry January 15 was indeed a spotted bass.

Results mean the fish is the new state record spotted bass, eclipsing the previous record of 5.56 pounds caught from Lake O’ the Pines in 1966.

The fish was caught by Erik Atkins of Lubbock in a tournament and measured 22.75 inches in length and 15 inches in girth.

“I was fishing in three to five feet of water with a shaky head worm, looking for a fish coming up to feed on the rocks,” Atkins recalled. “I turned the reel two cranks and she took it.”

Biologists stocked 150 adult spotted bass in Lake Alan Henry in 1996.

“These bass were from Alabama and were stocked experimentally in Texas since their growth rate is similar to largemouth bass and they live longer than the spotted bass known as Kentucky bass native to the Ohio and central and lower Mississippi River valleys,” said Charlie Munger, Inland Fisheries biologist for Lake Alan Henry. “Alan Henry has the only population of Alabama spotted bass in the state.”

Kentucky spotted bass are commonly found in East Texas streams. “Since there is no way for anglers to visually differentiate between the species of spotted bass, they are both considered to be simply spotted bass for record purposes,” Munger said. He added that a study of the spotted bass in Lake Alan Henry revealed that there has been no hybridization of spotted bass with largemouth bass.