Ive landed many largemouth bass in my time through the ice and on spinning gear in the 7-10 pound range so I know how big one is first hand. Well I was flipjng through a photo album when i was 18 or so and came across some picturss my mom had taken of me fishing the housatonic river when i was maybe 10 years old at a relatives house. I remember always drifting hellgramites and crawdads througn thepools and slamming the smallmouth. I came across a particluar largefish my younger self was posing with in a photo and my jaw dropped wheni realized k was holding a picture of one of the largest small mouth I had ever seen. It was so big I tookthe photo to my uncle who is a taxidermist that day and he estimated the weight consertivley at 8 pounds and even offered to replicate it on the cheap. However, as life tends to get in theway it kept getting pushed off tothe side and by the time I got serious any photos of the fish were lost. My mom felt guilty for long time about not springing for more polaroid cartridges after I told her about the potential record breaker lol.
Another time I was flyfishing for bass on a small lake and lost about 3 or 4 Daves Hopper to nasty pickeral along a weed bed before adding a few jnches of braid to the leader. Sure enough a few casts later j hook into that old pickeral in after a long fight and wading waist dep to hoist him out of the weeds I looking what amounts to decent northern size wise. I take a quick measurement with my rod, retrieve my flies, and toss the beast back into the lake.It wasnt until that night sitting at my computer looking at records thati started to think that maybe i should have taken some photos. Oh well