San Diego Feature


Searching for Dottie

When Dottie the largemouth bass was reeled in at Lake Dixon in 2003, she weighed 21 pounds 11 ounces. She was released then, and anglers knew she would be a potential world record breaker when caught again. Named for the single dot beside her gill, Dottie just needed a few years of fattening up to earn the world record for the biggest largemouth bass caught since 1932. Tantalized by the title, fishermen took it as a labor of love and obsession to capture her. In 2006, she was caught again. Her weight this time—25 pounds 1 ounce—would have broken the record, but it wasn't official: she had been foul-hooked (hooked anywhere besides the mouth). Two years later, the chase was over: Dottie was found dead in the water, quashing forever fishermen's dreams of breaking the world record.

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