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Ed Walbel’s record largemouth bass

February 15, 1976

Illinois hunting and fishing

Big Fish Info

Species: Largemouth bass

Size: 13 pounds, 1 ounce; 28 inches long, 23-inch girth

Date: February 15, 1976

County: Lake

Cold weather paid off with a big fish for Ed Walbel.

Fishing on Feb. 15, 1976 with ice still covering all but a small bay of the lake he was fishing, Walbel hooked into the largest largemouth ever caught in Illinois, though some suspect the fish was actually caught in Florida or Georgia and mis-represented as an Illinois catch.

Walbel caught his fish in a Lake County gravel pit. Walbel said he had virtually sole fishing rights to the 100-acre quarry that yielded his record bass, which measured 28 inches and had a girth of 23 inches.

Walbel’s big bass hit a yellow Mr. Twister No. 2 Meany Spin at about 2:30 p.m.

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