Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

  • Announcements

    • Rick

      Members Only Fluid Forum View   08/08/2017

      Fluid forum view allows members only to get right to the meat of this community; the topics. You can toggle between your preferred forum view just below to the left on the main forum entrance. You will see three icons. Try them out and see what you prefer.   Fluid view allows you, if you are a signed up member, to see the newest topic posts in either all forums (select none or all) or in just your favorite forums (select the ones you want to see when you come to Fishing Minnesota). It keeps and in real time with respect to Topic posts and lets YOU SELECT YOUR FAVORITE FORUMS. It can make things fun and easy. This is especially true for less experienced visitors raised on social media. If you, as a members want more specific topics, you can even select a single forum to view. Let us take a look at fluid view in action. We will then break it down and explain how it works in more detail.   The video shows the topic list and the forum filter box. As you can see, it is easy to change the topic list by changing the selected forums. This view replaces the traditional list of categories and forums.   Of course, members only can change the view to better suit your way of browsing.   You will notice a “grid” option. We have moved the grid forum theme setting into the main forum settings. This makes it an option for members only to choose. This screenshot also shows the removal of the forum breadcrumb in fluid view mode. Fluid view remembers your last forum selection so you don’t lose your place when you go back to the listing. The benefit of this feature is easy to see. It removes a potential barrier of entry for members only. It puts the spotlight on topics themselves, and not the hierarchical forum structure. You as a member will enjoy viewing many forums at once and switching between them without leaving the page. We hope that fluid view, the new functionality is an asset that you enjoy .
Sign in to follow this  
Scott M

World record class largemouth bass "Dottie" dies

Recommended Posts

by Kyle Carter, ESPNOutdoors

Jed Dickerson had just left Dixon Lake exhausted and was about to sit down for lunch when he got the call from Jim Dayberry, one of the Ranger supervisors with the park's lake division.

"You might want to come back down here," Dayberry told Dickerson at around 11:45 a.m. PT on Friday. "We just found Dottie floating on the north side of the lake."

There was a group of Rangers, including Dayberry, waiting for Dickerson on the dock, shaking their heads. Dickerson picked up the 19-pound dead bass and looked for the spot on her gills that had famously earned her the nickname "Dottie."

"Yup, that's her," Dickerson said. "It's over."

What Dickerson held represented almost a decade of commitment, putting him on a journey that labeled him, in certain people's eyes, as both a record holder and a fraud. It began with old friends Mac Weakley and Mike "Buddha" Winn and ended with new friend and former Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals coach Dennis Green.

This was the third time he'd held Dottie, and for the third time, it didn't accompany the title he wanted so badly — largemouth bass world-record holder. George Washington Perry's record mark of 22 pounds, 4 ounces, set on June 2, 1932, at Montgomery Lake in Georgia, dodged the biggest bullet of its nearly 76-year-old life on Friday, and Dickerson, Dottie's most devoted hunter, will finally get some rest.

"In my opinion, this is one of the greatest days in bass fishing history," said Dickerson, who had spent the week with National Geographic, working on a documentary on bass. "It's the end of an era and Perry's record lives on. I don't think anyone is ever going to break it."

Chasing Dottie

Dickerson, Weakley and Winn all grew up fishing together on Dixon Lake in Escondido, Calif., but they started their career hooking trout. Then one day they all watched as a guy stayed in one area all day, staring at one fish (sight fishing). Eventually he hooked a huge pregnant female and at the same time, hooked three kids on chasing bass.

But it wasn't until the late '90s that they realized their chase for big green bass would turn into a chase for the biggest green bass. A rumor and then a sighting of, at that point, a nameless, massive female bass, ended up defining their lives.

Jed Dickerson loads Dottie into a bag for the Game and Fish Department. Dottie was put in a freezer to be examined later.

"We just think it's really bizarre — kind of like it was meant to be," Weakley said. "The three of us grew up in that area, and that's the lake we used to fish out of every day when we were 6- and 7-years-old.

"And it turns out there was a world-class bass swimming in that lake three miles from our houses."

They devoted every minute of their free time to catching Dottie, which they believed would be large enough to score them the most coveted and historic record in bass fishing.

Dickerson was the first to realize the dream in 2003, and he thought the record was officially broken when he picked her off a spawning bed. He said the three friends immediately weighed Dottie at around 23 pounds, but it took the Game and Fish three hours to get to the lake to verify it as a record. By that time, they said, it was stressed and had lost a lot of its weight.

She officially weighed 21 pounds, 11 ounces, which still holds as the fourth largest largemouth bass ever recorded. That's when they noticed the spot on the gill and declared the race for "Dottie" and the record officially on.

They didn't pull her in again until 2006 when they again spotted her on a spawning bed and Weakley went to work. He eventually was able to set the hook, but when he got her to the boat, they noticed she had been foul hooked (not hooked in the mouth). Against his friends' wishes, Weakley decided not to try and make the record official with the Game and Fish.

Before releasing her, they weighed Dottie at 25 pounds, 1 ounce, shattering the record, took some photos. Weakley said he wasn't prepared for the scrutiny that followed.

The three were pounded by the media with requests for interviews and scolded by some conservation agencies and even other anglers about the way they handled Dottie. They were told by many that they had all but buried Dottie and some anglers even reported finding her dead.

"After all the scrutiny we've taken over the fish, people can see the truth now," Weakley said after seeing Dottie for himself on Friday. "Even though the fish was foul hooked, which sucked, I think it was good because it showed what the fish was in her prime.

"If we hadn't caught her in between Jed's catch in 2003 and her death today, people might have thought she topped out at 21 pounds."

Weakley and Winn backed off from the hunt after 2006. Winn eventually took a job that moved him away from Dixon and Weakley felt like the deed was done. But Dickerson wasn't finished. He wanted to see Dottie officially go down in the record books.

"I looked at it like the final chapter in that book had closed, but Jed didn't see it that way," Weakley said. "He wanted to keep pursuing it and get the official record. I think it became a personal thing with him, while for me, I kind of felt like I had been there, done that."

Dickerson said it went beyond just wanting to see his name in the books. Because of the time invested he felt like Dottie was his (along with Weakley's and Winn's), and he didn't want any "one-time angler" to come to Dixon, a public lake, catch Dottie and claim the record. He wanted to make sure it stayed close to home. And, according to Dickerson, they were coming from all over the U.S., and even some from Japan to try and put their name above Perry's in the book.

Meeting Dennis Green

Dickerson didn't have any luck with Dottie in 2007, but he spotted her in Dixon three months ago, with the females in the early stages of the spawn. A few days later he met an unexpected new friend and business partner, Green.

"I heard he was on the dock, but I didn't want to get into his business," Dickerson said. "But when I got back, I found out he was looking for me."

Green, who lives 45 minutes from Dixon in San Diego, said he knew Dickerson's story and thought he'd take his 9-year-old son Zach to check it out for himself. They struck up a quick friendship and Dickerson starting guiding for Green and Zach, both of whom love to fish.

"Talk about the biggest bass is always part legend and part myth," Green said. "Sometimes that giant bass doesn't really exist, but everyone talks about it."

A few days after that, Green and son Zach witnessed something he described as "unbelievably beautiful."

"When we saw her — it was just unbelievable," Green said. "She had two males swimming beside her — I called them her security guards — and she was more confident than any fish I've seen in my life.

"She was doing her thing, man. We think of a big fish as a fish that's lazy, but she was moving with a purpose."

Green was so enamored with the chase for the record and the mystique that followed it, he signed Dickerson on to be represented by his new business, Dennis Green Sports Marketing.

"Jed's a great fisherman and a great guide, and I think fishing is the future," he said.

Dickerson, balancing time with his job banking for a casino and his family, spent about eight hours a day, every day, looking for Dottie this spring, but the next time he saw her was when he held her on Friday.

Life after Dottie

He had all but given up hope of catching Dottie this spring when he got the call from Dayberry, but surprisingly, he said the first feeling he had after hearing Dottie had been found dead was relief.

"Now I won't wake up every morning, worrying that someone else was going to catch her," he said. "It's cost me an arm and a leg, and my family has been very, very understanding through this process.

"I'm just totally exhausted."

Weakley had a similar reaction. Tired of the scrutiny and attention, he was glad that the hunt was over and happy how it ended.

"I think it's great that she didn't end up in an aquarium or on somebody's table or on a mount," he said. "It's good to see that she lived her life out and came back to visit us one last time so people can really see just how big this fish is. And now we get to share her and let other people see her."

Green said he couldn't think of a better ending to Dottie's story. One of the most impressive bass in recorded history spawned one last time and passed away on Mother's Day weekend.

"Dottie was spawning just like a 3-pound fish," he said. "As a big fish, she still was into spawning. When they found her today, she was totally spawned out.

"She did what she had to do, and she did it on Mother's Day weekend. And her legend as the biggest fish ever goes on."

**********************************

This article caught my eye as Dixon has been talked about all over if "Dottie" kept growing. Wheatley, Winn, and Dickerson are profiled in the book "Sowbelly" by Monte Burch, a read I highly recommend. Interesting to read that Dennis Green has been spending time on Dixon. I know he really like Minnetonka when he was in Minnesota.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  



  • Posts

    • I run  5/16 on my new house. My old house had 1/8 form Miltona and lasted  just over a yr. I was out the sec time of the yr and seen one was fraying a little when setting it down on the ice. After I had it on the ice I told my son  we have to change cables when we get home. Fast forward 6 hrs and crank one side up about half ways and go over to the other side and start cranking it up and the cable broke. If my head would have been in the way it would have been bad news. I had enough cable to restring it. And get it up and locked in. I went to the other side and started to crank and that one popped to. I went and got the floor jack out of the back of the pickup and jacked it up and locked it in place. I put 1/4 on when I got home that night.   I take my house in the car wash everytime I come home when its wet it. If you have bad cables change them. For me it every two yrs and thats with 5/16 inch
    • Evan Williams might be ok for the skid row drinker who is more into quantity than quality. I don't drink to excess anymore, when I have a drink I care more about how it tastes than I do about what it does to me. 
    • he's plenty young.............he should grow outta that stage!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    • I agree, I wouldn't attempt to shoot that gun but it is extremely cool! I would probably take it to a few larger gun shops and see if anyone can give you any info on it just so you know what it is.
    • I put stainless on my house before I even took it home last year.  It was less than $100 and they installed them.  I also see them advertised on Craigs place for $50.
    • Going on the 3rd year and haven't change mine yet.... that being said it is always rinsed off after being used and sits inside a heated shop
    • DON'T even think about shooting this gun. Leave it as is and hang it on the wall.  Maybe put a little plaque with it identifying it as "Granpa's gun" and the dates of his time on earth. My guess is the gun was fired very few times after he arrived in this country. Hang it up-don't BLOW it up! 
    • I think HSO readers are probably a little more responsible than some owners but I see people changing cable every 2 years, some every year, and some hardly ever. How often do you change cables and are you 1/4, 5/16, or 3/8 cable people. I usually do every 3 years on 5/16 galvanized cable and do the pivots at the same time. I had an old 6x8 skid house I built a trailer for, it was a heavy old pig and never changed them in the 9 years I had it. I will say that if I had both break the same day like someone on here did I would probably do them every other trip! I just have to believe something else was going on there too. I can't even justify the 4-5 times extra price for stainless. I'd like to hear you guys thoughts. I keep the pressure off them at all time except for going up and down. 
    • I was like bken, super simple. Just put in weights and approx value. 
  • Our Sponsors