(1.4) STRIPED BASS - All-Time-Top-25-Biggest-Florida-Striped-Bass


ALL-TIME TOP-25
BIGGEST / HEAVIEST
STRIPED BASS
EVER CAUGHT (OR REPORTEDLY CAUGHT) IN FLORIDA

 



IN THE TWO PHOTOS ABOVE:
Striped bass and hybrid striped bass seeking the thermal refuge of Silver Glen Springs (flows into Lake George/St. Johns River) during the hot north-central Florida summer. These fish are the result of federal and/or state stocking programs started in 1970 as mitigation for the loss of the endemic St. Johns River basin's striped bass historical 56-mile length Silver River-Ocklawaha River free and swift-flowing spawning habitat caused by the closure of Rodman Dam in 1968. Recently, most of the Atlantic-race striped bass have been provided by fish hatcheries in South Carolina.



An Information, Opinion, Photos, & Sources Report
Compiled by Ocklawahaman Paul Nosca
With the assistance of A Cruising Down the River Captain Erika Ritter 
Created:  25 January 2015
Last Revised:  23 May 2015

 

 


 

NOTE:  Click-on individual photos to enlarge them!




The STRIPED BASS, Morone saxatilis (formerly Roccus saxatilis), is also commonly known in Florida as a "STRIPER."


Two "races" of striped bass are native to Florida:

"ATLANTIC (Ocean)-race" & "GULF (of Mexico)-race."


 

 

STRIPED BASS: THE LIST OF THE BIGGEST/HEAVIEST REPORTED FLORIDA CATCHES

Ocklawahaman Paul Nosca compiled the following list by carefully studying available data from various "offline" & "online" sources. It is the most complete historical listing of the all-time top-25 (or so) biggest or heaviest striped bass (Morone saxatilis) ever reportedly caught in Florida--that he has been able to assemble as of this date! This list includes any available reported catches whether undocumented, documented, non-certified or certified.

Ocklawahaman Paul Nosca is ready to update this report whenever new or more accurate data is discovered about 15-pound & heavier striped bass reported caught in Florida (past or present)–or it is brought to his attention by others.


Ocklawahaman Paul Nosca's mounted trophy bass
Largemouth Bass
Striped Bass

 

 

Abbreviations: lb = pound, oz = ounce, in = inch, L = length, G = girth, Co = county.

(No.) Reported Weight; Length (if known); Girth (if known); County (if known); Water (if known); Catch Date by Angler (Comment).

 

 



(A) 60-lb (up to); Gadsden / Jackson Co; Apalachicola River & Lake Seminole; collected by biologists (reported 1988 by Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission [FL GFC]).
Ware, F. J. 1988. "Florida striped bass" article. Florida Wildlife magazine (May-June 1988; page 16-20). FL GFC, Tallahassee, FL. Available as a hard-copy.

(B) 54-lb 8-oz; Flagler Co; Matanzas Inlet (Atlantic Ocean); by unknown angler (employee of Marineland) (reported 12-27-1974 in the Ocala Star-Banner).http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1356&dat=19741227&id=tXhPAAAAIBAJ&sjid=ggUEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6720,5500773


(C) 50-lb (up to); Calhoun Co; Chipola River below Dead Lake Dam; by unknown angler(s) (reported 1967 by FL GFC).

Barkuloo, J. M. 1967. Florida striped bass. Fishery Bulletin No. 4 (page 7). FL GFC, Tallahassee, FL. Available as a hard-copy.


(D) 45-lb (up to); Nassau Co; St. Marys River & Nassau River; by unknown angler(s) (reported 1988 by FL GFC).

Ware, F. J. 1988. "Florida striped bass" article. Florida Wildlife magazine (May-June 1988; page 16-20). FL GFC, Tallahassee, FL. Available as a hard-copy.




(1) 43-lb 9-oz; Indian River; 1-3-2004 by Carl R. Jackson (certified Florida state record [SALTWATER] striped bass.

http://myfwc.com/media/2577624/Saltwater-Records2012-2013.pdf

http://www.electricbluefishing.com/eb_sub_menu/florida_fish_records.htm

http://research.myfwc.com/engine/download_redirection_process.asp?file=fwc_regs_web_2620.pdf&objid=23916&dltype=article

http://www.vipfishingcharters.com/Fishing-Info/florida-saltwater-fishing-records.html


(2)  42-lb 4-oz; 44-in L; 28-in G; Gadsden Co; Apalachicola River; 12-14-1993 by Alphonso Barnes (certified Florida state record [FRESHWATER] striped bass).

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1994-01-02/sports/9401020412_1_fishing-for-stripers-barnes-put-striped-bass

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1901&dat=19940113&id=CgIqAAAAIBAJ&sjid=gtMEAAAAIBAJ&pg=3516,5713500

http://myfwc.com/fishing/freshwater/fishing-tips/record/

 

(3) 42-lb 00-oz; 39.875-in L; 29.625 in-G; Gadsden Co; Apalachicola River; 3-xx-2006 by Travis Sanford.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2141&dat=20060405&id=B8IzAAAAIBAJ&sjid=jRUGAAAAIBAJ&pg=798,1096996

http://www.fieldandstream.com/pages/near-record-striper-florida%E2%80%99s-apalachicola-river-gives-42-pounder

 

(4) 38-lb 9-oz; Gadsden Co; Lake Seminole; 11-15-1979 by Justin McAlpin (former certified Florida state record [FRESHWATER] striped bass).

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1320&dat=19850512&id=g7ZWAAAAIBAJ&sjid=n-kDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6193,4578784

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1901&dat=19940113&id=CgIqAAAAIBAJ&sjid=gtMEAAAAIBAJ&pg=3516,5713500

http://myfwc.com/media/83513/Fishing_Record_xx-str.jpg

 

Justin McAlpin holds 38-lb 9-oz striped bass caught 11-15-1979.



(5) 37-lb; Putnam Co; Ocklawaha River below Rodman Dam; (reported 12-27-1974 in the Ocala Star-Banner). This striped bass would have been the result of successful natural reproduction prior to the closure of Rodman Dam.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1356&dat=19741227&id=tXhPAAAAIBAJ&sjid=ggUEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6720,5500773

 

(6) 33-lb; 44-in L; Wakulla Co; St. Marks River; 2-5-1989 by unknown angler (living along that river's west bank).

Note:  Ocklawahaman personally was shown this mounted striper on 2-7-1999 in the private house of residents along the St. Marks River. As I was passing by (in my canoe while bass fishing) the riverside home of this couple, they invited me in to view this mount of a very large striped bass. It had, at least for a time, been certified by the old Florida Department of Natural Resources (and the IGFA) as the FLORIDA SALTWATER RECORD STRIPED BASS--they showed me the certificate to prove it! This fish most likely, for spawning purposes, had strayed from the nearby Ochlockonee River into the St. Marks River via the Gulf of Mexico's coastline waters. What was probably this same striped bass was reported as being 32 lbs on 1-23-2005 by: http://www.bigbendfishing.net/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5816&start=0


(7) 31-lb; 36.5-in L; 28-in G; Gadsden Co; Apalachicola River; 2-28-1977 by Albert F. Cook (former certified Florida state record [FRESHWATER] striped bass).

FL GFC. 1977. "Record fish update" article. Florida Wildlife magazine (May-June 1977, pages 44-45). FL GFC, Tallahassee, FL. Available as a hard-copy.


(8) 30-lb (up to); Okaloosa / Santa Rosa / Walton Co; Blackwater River & Yellow River; by unknown angler(s) (reported 2015 by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission [FL FWC]).

http://myfwc.com/fishing/freshwater/sites-forecast/striper/

http://www.landbigfish.com/articles/default.cfm?TID=fwc-12302004


(8) 30-lb (up to); Gadsden / Leon Co; Lake Talquin & Ochlockonee River; by unknown angler(s) (reported 2015 by the FL FWC).

http://myfwc.com/fishing/freshwater/sites-forecast/striper/

http://www.stripers247.com/floridaplaces.htm

http://www.landbigfish.com/articles/default.cfm?TID=fwc-12302004


(8) 30-lb (up to); Marion Co; Silver Springs (Silver River, Ocklawaha River); by unknown angler(s) (reported 8-12-1962 in The Palm Beach Post). These striped bass would have been the result of successful natural reproduction prior to the closure of Rodman Dam.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1964&dat=19620812&id=MvMiAAAAIBAJ&sjid=mswFAAAAIBAJ&pg=3043,2197808

 

(8) 30-lb (up to); Marion Co; Silver Springs (Silver River, Ocklawaha River); by unknown angler(s) (reported 8-27-1955 in the Daytona Beach Morning Journal). These striped bass would have been the result of successful natural reproduction prior to the closure of Rodman Dam.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1873&dat=19550827&id=kYUfAAAAIBAJ&sjid=qswEAAAAIBAJ&pg=1651,3848661

 

(9) 28-lb; Marion Co; Silver Springs (Silver River, Ocklawaha River); 7-xx-1985 (reported 8-13-1985 in the Ocala Star-Banner).

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1356&dat=19850813&id=rnxPAAAAIBAJ&sjid=WAYEAAAAIBAJ&pg=1822,6544812

 

(10) 23-lbs 8-oz; Putnam Co; Ocklawaha River below Rodman Dam; by James Weaver (reported 12-27-1974 in the Ocala Star-Banner). This striped bass would have been the result of successful natural reproduction prior to the closure of Rodman Dam.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1356&dat=19741227&id=tXhPAAAAIBAJ&sjid=ggUEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6720,5500773

 

(11) 22-lb 8-oz; Gadsden Co; Apalachicola River; 11-10-1976 by C. W. Padgett (former certified Florida state record [FRESHWATER] striped bass).

FL GFC. 1977. "Record fish update" article. Florida Wildlife magazine (May-June 1977, pages 44-45). FL GFC, Tallahassee, FL. Available as a hard-copy.



(11) 22-lb 8-oz; Putnam Co; Ocklawaha River below Rodman Dam; by Vivian Reiter (reported 7-3-1969 in the Ocala Star-Banner [Page 8 of 9]). This striped bass would have been the result of successful natural reproduction prior to the closure of Rodman Dam.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1356&dat=19690703&id=P4RPAAAAIBAJ&sjid=RAUEAAAAIBAJ&pg=4680,325689


(12) 22-lb; Gadsden / Leon / Liberty / Wakulla Co; Ochlockonee River; 6-23-1976 by Wayne F. Italiane, Jr.

FL GFC. 1977. "Record fish update" article. Florida Wildlife magazine (May-June 1977, pages 44-45). FL GFC, Tallahassee, FL. Available as a hard-copy.


(12) 22-lb; Gadsden / Leon Co; Lake Talquin; 1970's by Herschel Sheppard.

Babcock, S. 1980. "School stripers" article. Florida Wildlife magazine (September-October 1980, pages 6-7). FL GFC, Tallahassee, FL. Available as a hard-copy.


Talquin Lodge owner Les Wachter holding 
22-lb Lake Talquin striped bass caught (1970's) by guide Herschel Sheppard.


(13) 21-lb 13-oz; Putnam Co; Ocklawaha River below Rodman Dam; by James Weaver (reported 4-23-1972 in the Ocala Star-Banner [Page 14 of 51]). This striped bass would have been the result of successful natural reproduction prior to the closure of Rodman Dam.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=hXZnTIgIr50C&dat=19720423&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

 

(14) 20.5-lb; Putnam Co; Ocklawaha River below Rodman Dam; xx-xx-1969 by Bernard Brown. This striped bass would have been the result of successful natural reproduction prior to the closure of Rodman Dam.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1356&dat=19690703&id=P4RPAAAAIBAJ&sjid=RAUEAAAAIBAJ&pg=4680,325689


(15)  20-lb; Putnam Co; Ocklawaha River below Rodman Dam; xx-xx-1969 by Philip Puhl. This striped bass would have been the result of natural reproduction prior to the closure of Rodman Dam.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1356&dat=19690703&id=P4RPAAAAIBAJ&sjid=RAUEAAAAIBAJ&pg=4680,325689

 

(16) 19-lb 9-oz; Duval Co; St. Johns River; xx-xx-2011 by Chris Holleman (reported 5-16-2011 in the Florida Sportsman online magazine).

http://www.floridasportsman.com/2011/05/16/regions_ne_sr_9911_downtown/


(17) 19-lb; Putnam Co; Ocklawaha River below Rodman Dam; 1-xx-1974 by unknown angler (reported 2-1-1974 in the Ocala Star-Banner [Page 13 of 24]). This striped bass would have been the result of successful natural reproduction prior to the closure of Rodman Dam.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=hXZnTIgIr50C&dat=19740201&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

 

(18) 18-lb 8-oz; Marion Co; Silver Springs (Silver River, Ocklawaha River); by Buck Ray (reported 8-3-1958 in The Evening Independent). This striped bass would have been the result of successful natural reproduction prior to the closure of Rodman Dam.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=LwNQAAAAIBAJ&sjid=VlUDAAAAIBAJ&pg=5480,283557&dq=striped-bass+silver-springs+ray&hl=en

 

(19) 18-lb 3-oz; 30-in L; Marion Co; Ocklawaha River; 2-21-1974 by Chester Balay. This striped bass would have been the result of successful natural reproduction prior to the closure of Rodman Dam.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1356&dat=19740224&id=6HdPAAAAIBAJ&sjid=ewUEAAAAIBAJ&pg=5949,5143970

 

(20) 18-lb; Putnam Co; Ocklawaha River below Rodman Dam; by Jim Clark (reported 8-7-1983 in the Gainesville Sun [Page 26 of 80]).

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1320&dat=19830807&id=nT1WAAAAIBAJ&sjid=3ukDAAAAIBAJ&pg=7196,1840006


(19) 18-lb; Putnam Co; Ocklawaha River below Rodman Dam; 3-xx-1974 by unknown angler (reported 3-22-1974 in the Ocala Star-Banner [Page 20 of 45]). This striped bass would have been the result of successful natural reproduction prior to the closure of Rodman Dam.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1356&dat=19740322&id=_3dPAAAAIBAJ&sjid=fgUEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6511,4200387

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=hXZnTIgIr50C&dat=19740322&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

 

(20) 18-lb; Putnam Co; Ocklawaha River below Rodman Dam; 6-xx-1971 by Carson Johntry (reported 6-6-1971 in the Ocala Star-Banner [Page 12 of 40]). This striped bass would have been the result of successful natural reproduction prior to the closure of Rodman Dam.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=hXZnTIgIr50C&dat=19710606&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1356&dat=19710425&id=iZVPAAAAIBAJ&sjid=RQUEAAAAIBAJ&pg=7211,10564216

 

(21) 17.5-lb; Putnam Co; Ocklawawha River below Rodman Dam; xx-xx-1969 by Orie Griffin. This striped bass would have been the result of successful natural reproduction prior to the closure of Rodman Dam.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1356&dat=19690703&id=P4RPAAAAIBAJ&sjid=RAUEAAAAIBAJ&pg=4680,325689

 

(22) 17-lb; Marion Co; Ocklawaha River; xx-xx-1956 by Jim Keeney (reported 5-6-1956 in the Ocala Star-Banner [Page 23 of 52]). This striped bass would have been the result of successful natural reproduction prior to the closure of Rodman Dam.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1356&dat=19560506&id=EHRPAAAAIBAJ&sjid=wQQEAAAAIBAJ&pg=2543,5846508


(23) 16-lb 9-oz; Duval Co; St. Johns River; xx-xx-20xx by Frank Holleman (reported 5-16-2011 in the Florida Sportsman online magazine).

http://www.floridasportsman.com/2011/05/16/regions_ne_sr_9911_downtown/


(24) 16-lb; 36-in L; Putnam Co.; Ocklawaha River below Rodman Dam; 3-xx-2003 by Steve Hinkle.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1320&dat=20030321&id=t-lWAAAAIBAJ&sjid=ZOwDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6780,4965068

 

(24) 16-lb; Putnam Co; Ocklawaha River below Rodman Dam; 6-xx-1971 by Carson Johntry (reported 6-6-1971 in the Ocala Star-Banner [Page 12 of 40]). This striped bass would have been the result of successful natural reproduction prior to the closure of Rodman Dam.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=hXZnTIgIr50C&dat=19710606&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

 

(25) 15-lb; 32.5-in L; 19.25-in G: Gadsden Co; Little (Ochlockonee) River; 7-20-1997 by Ocklawahaman Paul Nosca (the fish was identified as a Gulf-race striped bass). This striper was caught from a man-powered canoe while drift-fishing a swift-moving river using open-face spinning tackle, 15-lb monofilament line, and a spinner-bait as an artificial lure.



Note:  Undoubtedly, perhaps hundreds of other 15-pound (and heavier) striped bass have been taken from Florida waters over the years that have not been included on this list, yet! Others will be added from time to time as Ocklawahaman discovers the pertinent data. It is anticipated that my own 15-pound striper (now at number 25) will eventually only make this all-time top-25 Florida-caught striped bass report as an honorable mention.


15-lb; 32.5-in L; 19.25-in G: Gadsden Co; Little (Ochlockonee) River; 7-20-1997 by Ocklawahaman Paul Nosca 
ON THE DAY OF CATCH and BEFORE THIS STRIPED BASS WAS MOUNTED!

 

FOR MUCH MORE INFORMATION ABOUT FLORIDA'S STRIPED BASS, VISIT:

https://sites.google.com/site/ocklawahamanpaulnoscareports/striped-bass-of-the-ocklawaha-river-florida

https://sites.google.com/site/ocklawahaman/striped-bass-of-the-ocklawaha-river

https://sites.google.com/site/ocklawahamanpaulnoscareports/1967-florida-striped-bass-ocklawaha-river-to-silver-springs

https://sites.google.com/site/ocklawahamanpaulnoscareports/the-fwc-and-ocklawaha-river-restoration

http://riverbedammed.org/striped-bass/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZY-NJwb0FWI



OPINION

 

Although there seems to be an effort by some--for whatever reason--to downplay the historical significance of the naturally reproducing striped bass fishery that existed in the Ocklawaha River before Rodman Dam was completed on 30 September 1968, there are many different online archived newspaper reports available that describe the exciting fishing action that occurred in the past involving native stripers weighing up to 30 pounds.

 

 

The following is an excerpted paragraph from the "Outdoors by Fred Langworthy" report that appeared in the Daytona Beach Sunday News-Journal newspaper (28 August 1955, page 14):

"Reports received here say that the party, fishing for black bass, hit into rather hefty strikes that tore up tackle. Later, and with heavier gear, they returned to the river and boated some of the fish, finding that they were real northern striped bass, a salt water fish. From then on anglers from all around hurried to the river, and at last report were hauling in scores of them weighing from 14 to 30 pounds."

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=kYUfAAAAIBAJ&sjid=qswEAAAAIBAJ&pg=1651,3848661&dq=striped-bass+oklawaha-river&hl=en

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

 

The stated mission of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is "Managing fish and wildlife resources for their long-term well-being and the benefit of people." It would seem that attempting to restore a natural breeding population of Atlantic-race striped bass to their historic Ocklawaha River spawning habitat would be a worthy goal for the FWC to actively pursue. Wouldn’t the "long-term well-being" of a desirable Florida-native gamefish species with a very limited range in this state--the Atlantic-race striped bass--be better advanced by making its very existence in the St. Johns River Basin not only completely dependent upon the work of fish hatcheries?


"There are lake fishermen, and there are river fishermen, and seldom do the twain agree!" - Original author unknown.


REFERENCE AS:  Nosca, P. 2015. "All-time top-25 biggest / heaviest striped bass ever caught (or reportedly caught) in Florida" webpage report."Ocklawahaman Paul Nosca Reports" website. Paul Nosca, Eureka, FL. https://sites.google.com/site/ocklawahamanpaulnoscareports/all-time-top-25-biggest-fl-striped-bass

 

Email: ocklawahaman1@gmail.com

 

End.

 

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