Breaking News
Ranger RT188 | Feature-Rich Aluminum Boat
Part of buying a boat to me is seeing...
Avena’s Swimbait Class on Bass University TV
FLW Tour pro Adrian Avena went from having zero...
Ike Live! This Sunday with Dave Mercer
Mike Iaconelli’s web show is airing again this weekend...
Abu Garcia REVO Beast Winners
Thanks to everyone who participated in the lastest giveaway...
DeFoe Talks Electronics on ProWebLive
Here is your chance to get a taste of...
Rayovac FLW Series Rules Updated for 2015
FLW announced the new rules for the 2015 Rayovac...
BASS Brawl to Air Thursday
B.A.S.S. announced it will showcase a one-on-one live tournament...
DeChaine Joins Wired2fish Team
Wired2fish hired Ryan DeChaine to head up video production...
Combs Inks Deal with Batson Enterprises
Team RainShadow, a Batson Enterprises brand, is excited to...
John Crews’ Shallow Cranking Class on Bass University TV
John crews is renowned for being an excellent shallow...

We saw reports come out a week ago about George Perry’s world record largemouth bass “new old photo.” We refrained from posting as news because, well I for one was pretty skeptical. I’ve shot and edited hundreds of thousands of digital photos over the last two decades. While I’m not a digital forensic scientist, I’m somewhat certain I can recognize a lot of “out of place elements” in a digital photograph.

The alleged photo above was anonymously emailed to Bill Baab at the Augusta Chronicle a couple weeks ago.  Baab is the foremost authority on the Perry bass and wrote the book “Remembering George W. Perry.” The sender identified themselves as a descendant of Jack Page, Perry’s fishing buddy and the gentleman believed to be holding the only other picture of the world record bass that surfaced back in 2006.

However when Baab attempted to document and get more information on the photo from the sender, the email came back as invalid. Baab is certain the man in the latest photo is Perry. However it’s not known if this is a picture of the actual world record bass. The scribbled date on it would put it at the right time.

Here are 5 reasons why I think this photo or at least the fish in the photo has been doctored in a photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop.

  1.      Bass’s mouth wouldn’t be open
  2.      Details in bass don’t match other details in photo
  3.      The plane of focus is not consistent through the fish and other parts of the photo
  4.      Cloning and smudging on bass back.
  5.      The tail doesn’t appear to match the tail of the bass in the other photo.

Bass mouth awkward

world-record-bass-2006-george-perryWhy would the bass’s mouth be open? That’s my first question. The way a bass’s mouth is hinged, it’s more natural and relaxed state is mouth semi closed. Wide open requires a lot of effort. Can you think of one bass photo you’ve see where the bass’s mouth was open other than forced open by a hand holding it or a lure and line pulling it open?

Details wrong

There is a remarkable amount of detail of the bass, yet even though other parts of the photo are in focus, they don’t show similar amounts of detail. Partially I’m sure due to age and the ability of film and focus cameras in 1932. But why does the bass have so much more detail in the same plane of focus.

Plane of focus inconsistent

The plane of focus is dependent on the aperture of the photo. This photo has a fairly narrow depth of field, meaning only things along a certain plane are in focus. There also appears to have been some camera and hand shake in the photo. Notice the top part is in focus around Perry but blurred behind him. But his legs and ground and water are somewhat out of focus because of motion blur.  However none of that appears to carry through the photo.

Cloning apparent

There appears to be some sloppy attempts to blur some of the fish but not all of it. Along the fish’s back and tail there appears to be some cloning and healing applied to it. Yet the out of focus doesn’t quite seem to match other out of focus elements in the photo.

Tails don’t fit

If the tails don’t fit, you must acquit. Or something like that. But seriously the first thing I look at when looking at fish photos is the tail of the bass. The tail can remarkably be an indentifying characteristic of some bass. If I look at the tail of the bass in the original photo and look at the tail of the bass in this photo. They don’t appear to match. The original tail seemed to have a much deeper fork in the center of it.

A few other things I noticed were, and maybe it’s due to some sort of water spot, but where is the pectoral fin on the bass? Why is the fish’s bottom lip black in the photo yet there is no black on the bottom lip of the original photo? Did it disappear in transport? I somewhat doubt it.  I’ve filleted bass that have those black hormone marks on them around the spawn and they are still visible at death.

All that considered, I can’t believe this photo to be real. Here are a few other folks that seem at least as skeptical as me about the legitimacy of this bass photo.

Other articles regarding George Perry’s recent record bass photo:

Augusta Chronicle

Outdoor Hub

Field & Stream


 Editors Note: Jason Sealock has been a photographer for two decades and has edited hundreds of thousands of digital photos shot by himself and many different photographers. These opinions are his and may not reflect all of the writers of Wired2fish.com.


10 thoughts on “Why The Latest World Record Bass Photo is Fake

  1. I tend to agree with Jason….my first thought was, why did the sender decide to remain unknown….why did he/she remain in the darkness? Maybe it’s a true photo, maybe not……I just wish we had more information and whoever sent the photo would come forth.

  2. I couldn’t figure out why his hands in this photo are in a closed position holding the fish. His figures are balled up or in a grasping position and too close together to support the fish. Looks like he was holding or grasping something else.

    The drops hitting the water aren’t lining up either.

  3. You might be 100% correct, but I can promise you this….. as someone who has been using Photoshop and other image-editing software for over 20 years, if it’s a fake, it’s the best one I’ve ever seen….. by FAR.

  4. Looks like to me he was fly fishin and was in position of holdin a trout. And also looks like his clothes changed. Eyes on the fish look different as well. Also where his hands are on the belly, there is no indention in the belly from the force of the hands supporting the fish.

  5. If you blow the picture way up the pixels in the fish appear to be a different size (larger) than anything else in the picture.

  6. The first thing I noticed as soon as i saw the photo about a week ago was the way the mouth is gaping open like that, and then the position of the person’s hands. One hand would have had to be holding the mouth open like that. It almost looks like the fish was “posing” for the camera, like it knew it was the star of a photoshoot or something.
    When I count three everybody say cheeeesey photo :)

  7. Pretty obvious to me. I highly doubt that if any of us had a fish like that in our hands, that we would be holding it out over the water where it could escape!!

  8. I strongly Beleive this photo is a fake. My biggest reason is the reflection of light on the bass’ head does not line up with the mans shadow in the water. Also his face appears to be edited, the shadow in the water indicates the sun is behind him but the shadow on his face indicates that the sun is to the left of him (right to those looking at the photo) and in front.

  9. I’m no photoshop expert so the photo looks fine to me. Plenty of water marks that would explain the dithering effect. The thing that catches my eye is the way he’s holding the fish. I think that if one were to hold a 22lb bass the same way he’s holding it, it would indeed cause the mouth to open as seen in the photo. It looks like the weight of the fish causes the fish to rest heavily on the right hand sinking into the gut and causing the mouth to open. The problem that I see is that his right knee is on the ground and his left knee is in a kneeling position. Yet his right hand is supporting the weight of the fish without the support of a bent knee. I would think that one would naturally use a bent knee to support the bulk of the fish.

    Just an observation…….maybe entirely out in left field.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>