I received a tip from a Devils Lake reader this morning about Blake LaFleur, a Devils Lake fisherman fishing white bass for the past few winters in pursuit of a new International Game Fish Association line-class record for 2-pound test line.
Monday, Feb. 13, LaFleur appears to have landed that white bass line-class record, which awaits confirmation from the IGFA in Dania Beach, Fla.
According to Devils Lake Tourism, LaFleur was fishing in 40 feet of water in the main basin of Devils Lake when he hooked the big white bass. The fish measured 18½ inches with a 16-inch girth and weighed 4.27 pounds and 4.32 pounds on two separate scales.
Either way, the fish tops the current world line-class record of 3.50 pounds.
As Devils Lake Tourism reported, LaFleur is sending both scales to the IGFA along with 50 feet of the line used. He caught the fish on a 1/16th-ounce Northland Buckshot rattle spoon. His reel was spooled with an Italian mono line called Asso Micron 3 that was rated at 1.5 pounds and had a breaking strength of 1.6 pounds. A 4-pound fluorocarbon leader, approved by the IGFA, completed the setup, and LaFleur was using a 43-inch custom Thorne Brothers Rod, according to Devils Lake Tourism.
Devils Lake, of course, has a history of kicking out big white bass. The North Dakota state record white bass, which has nothing to do with IGFA’s line-class record, measured 19 inches and weighed 4 pounds, 10 ounces. Charlie Vang of Brooklyn Park, Minn., caught the fish in June 2012 while fishing Six-Mile Bay.