World Record Meanmouth Hybrid Bass Hooked In Texas

A man holding a fish
Ross Motorsports

If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

If that was the case, this fish wouldn’t exist. Given their name, one would assume that “meanmouth” hybrid bass probably love to talk a lot of shit to other fish. I guess ripping a hook through their lips is one way to shut a meanmouth up though.

Wyatt Frankens is a professional bass fishing guide, so he’s as familiar with bass as anyone. So he knew there was something different about the bass he hooked earlier this spring, so he kept the fish and contacted the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. 

He was right about the fish being different. That’s because it wasn’t largemouth or a smallmouth bass – it was a hybrid of the two. A unique species of its own known as a “meanmouth.”

The 7.6-ounce meanmouth is not only the Texas State record, it’s the new world record for the hybrid species as well.

While the fish is well shy of the state record largemouth bass, which tipped the scales at over 18-pounds, it is on par with the state smallmouth record which is just under 8-pounds.

After verifying that the fish was a state record, Frankens sent photos and documentation of the fish to the International Game Fish Association, who recently confirmed that the meanmouth is a new world record as well.

According to Outdoor Life:

“I’m really at a loss for words.

Who would’ve thought this small town guy from East Texas would be a world record holder?”

Meanmouth bass were first synthetically hybridized at an Illinois state fish hatchery in the 1960’s and that’s when the species became officially recognized.

Though rare, hybridization of the two species does occur naturally in the wild, which is believed to be the case with the new record fish. Hatchery stock meanmouth have never been released into the reservoir where the fish was caught.

According to In Fishermen, the species was named by Dr. William Childers, a fisheries specialist with the Illinois Natural History Survey. The species was notably more aggressive than either largemouths or smallmouths, and once stocked in ponds the fish immediately caused conflict.

On one occasion a school of meanmouths were observed attacking a female swimmer.

“The fish leapt from the water and struck her on the head and chest and drove her from the pond.”

On another occasion, he watched meanmouths attack a dog that ventured into shallow water.

While naturally occurring hybrids evidently do occur, little efforts to stock meanmouths are currently underway anywhere. Only Missouri, Georgia, and now Texas even fully recognized the fish as an official species.

An important lesson for this particular big meanmouth though – talk shit, get hooked.

A man holding a fish

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock