World Record Chasers | The Story of “Dottie” the 25 pound Largemouth Bass

In the early 2000’s, deep in the heart of Southern California, just a short drive north of San Diego on a small reservoir known as Dixon Lake; three anglers: Jed Dickerson, Mac Weakley, and Mike Winn were on a quest to catch the worlds biggest largemouth bass. In California, where the temperatures are just right, combined with the rainbow trout stocking efforts by the local park – allow the largemouth bass in Lake Dixon to grow to enormous sizes.

Mac Weakley with “Dottie” in 2006.

The men continued on with the pursuit of big bass for years – never able to satisfy their desire for catching the largest bass in the world. Then, on March 19, 2006, when the 3 friends were out on the lake fishing the men spotted “Dottie” – a 25 lb female largemouth stuffed full of rainbow trout and distinguished by a black dot on her right gil-plate. Because the lake was closing soon the men decided to rent a campsite for the night to be the first back on the water in the morning. The next morning the men were able to re-locate “Dottie” and took turns casting to the fish.

Mac Weakley couldn’t quite see his jig, saw a flash, and felt a tap on his line so he swung back and set the hook! After a short fight the men were able to net the fish and get her in the boat – to everyone’s dismay, the fish was foul-hooked. Foul-hooked means the fish was hooked outside of the mouth and therefore not considered a world-record. The men quickly weighed the fish (25.1 pounds) and returned her alive to water. If certified, she would have out-weighed the current world record by almost 2 pounds.

In early 2008 Jed Dickerson received a call from Dixon Lake officials saying that Dotty was found floating on the top of the water and subsequently died. Here’s to hoping her generations of offspring live to outgrow her.

Jed Dickerson with a deceased “Dottie” in 2008.

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