WYNNE, Ark. (KTHV) - The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission says the largemouth bass that broke the state record for its size was caught illegally.
Paul Crowder of Forrest City caught a bass weighing 15.6 lbs on Lake Dunn on Feb. 28. This broke the state record by an ounce.
AGFC says that Crowder's fishing license was purchased three hours after he claimed to have caught the bass. His fishing license expired in April of 2011. Because of AGFC regulations, it is illegal for anyone over 16 to fish without a current Arkansas fishing license.
Crowder faces up to a $1,000 fine and up to 30 days in jail. The fish was seized as evidence by AGFC wildlife officers, and he'll have a court hearing March 19 in Wynne District Court.
AGFC says the largemouth bass caught by Crowder would have broken the 36-year-old record set by Aaron Mardis in 1976.
AGFC Chief of Fisheries Mark Oliver says he's disappointed that a bass large enough to beat the record can't be certified because of illegal activity.
Source: Arkansas Game and Fish Commission