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I understand your feelings Bill. No one will change them.  I really wish you can find some pride.  You now hold a record.  The fish being as slow/week shows it was not in its prime.   I am saddened that you wish you did not catch it.  I understand,  but am saddened just the same.  

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There are those that search out things to be outraged about. If you let those people get to you, or even bother you, then you might be dumber than they are.

You didn't go search out this fish and kill it. Screw those people and be proud of this moment. 

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54 minutes ago, laker67 said:

All these haters need to take up a new hobby where everything works just right in a just right world. Most probably never fish more than one of two times a year but read forums constantly. They never congratulate some one on an impressive catch, they only tell you what you did wrong. Phil pretty much covered that in his rebuttal. Hats off to you Phil. 

Keyboard Warriors. Those same people that say he should have released it would be the first ones to question the size if he would have taken pictures/measurements and released it immediately. 

I think everyone that knows anything about Taneycomo knows that the team at Lilley's has a top notch setup. I would wager 99.99% of places that have the potential for multiple state/world record class fish don't have the facilities/setup to even begin to attempt to keep a fish like this alive through the process. I would also wager that 99.99% of people that catch a fish in the world record class wouldn't think twice about trying to get certified measurements regardless of what they proclaim on the internet. Your fish was 20% larger than Frank which means the likelihood of him being caught again was low since he made it that much bigger than the state record without being caught to begin with. Heck Frank, Frankie, and Carl has really stuck to a pretty predictable stretch of the lake and none of them are being caught multiple times. Most people aren't remotely prepared to catch a fish that size on regular trout gear. 

Congratulations on the fish of a lifetime. 

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Last I looked, our FB posts have reached well over 100k people with tons more sharing.  This news should go around the world since it's close to the New Zealand record.  So for a tiny percentage of people to make stupid remarks as well as all kinds of crazy, baseless assumptions about what happened to the fish, I'd say we've done a good job of getting the facts out there.

I understand how Bill feels about catching it.  I'd struggle with the same thing if it ever happened to me... but I think I know what I'd do.

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We will be better prepared next time.  We already had plans drawn up - and had bought and certified a scale.  We just didn't think this would happen as quickly as it did.  Now we're in full tilt... going to make more changes and build out a few things that will help next time.  Who knows... it could be this fall.  There are a lot of these big brown in that year class swimming around.

We already have an oxygen tank and I'm looking at ways to aureate our tank.

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2 minutes ago, Phil Lilley said:

.. but I think I know what I'd do.

I've gone on record with my buddies by saying that I think that records are pointless and don't matter. I would have done the same thing Bill did. Actually that's not true. I would have lost it at the boat and been sick about it forever. 

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37 minutes ago, Phil Lilley said:

We will be better prepared next time.  We already had plans drawn up - and had bought and certified a scale.  We just didn't think this would happen as quickly as it did.  Now we're in full tilt... going to make more changes and build out a few things that will help next time.  Who knows... it could be this fall.  There are a lot of these big brown in that year class swimming around.

We already have an oxygen tank and I'm looking at ways to aureate our tank.

Cool. I bet no one in the world will have a setup like yours for weighing and reviving those big boys.

Mr. Morris needs to get a replica mount for the display room they have at the aquarium.  

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Enough about pounds and inches and records and all that stuff! I want to turn this conversation onto the *man* on the other end for a second. I thought the brief but detailed write up was great. Lots of detail in the setup, location and technique. And the humility expressed was, in my opinion, a great example for all of us. 

I also think the other folks involved in this deserve a lot of recognition. I'll admit I don't follow records much but, between this fish and Frank, it seems to me there is a new mentality taking root in which it's much less about the person and more about the fish. The extraordinary efforts being taken to safely return these monsters to the water is really commendable. Sounds like there are processes and equipment in place to improve the odds that they live. That's true sportsmanship. I hope it spreads. 

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