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The story behind a huge striped bass landed in the waters off Block Island, Rhode Island.
By Toby Lapinski  |  August 17, 2018
Measuring 54 inches long by 32.5 inches around, the massive striped bass comes out at 71.29 pounds according to the weight calculation formula.

It happens at least once per season, sometimes several times before the fish move south each year; rumors of a 70- or even 80-plus-pound striped bass landed off Block Island circulate on Facebook, fishing messages boards, Twitter and even the local tackle shops. But for all the legit 50- and 60-plus-pound stripers that have been caught this year, surprisingly little talk of a 70 had hit interwebs to date. Well, that was until the morning of August 17.

First it was just a trickle with a post on the Bobby J's Facebook page of a rumored 77-pounder landed off Block Island, but from there my phone began to buzz with texts, emails and even a few phone calls of anglers looking for the skinny on this rumored hefty bass. The way things have been going, I even commented on how it was likely little more than just that—a rumor—but I never write these rumblings off until I get the full details as to their origin.

I had to run a few errands and was away from my computer for about 30 minutes when I received a text from Fisherman contributor, Kyle Quine, simply saying, “Rumors are true.” I shot him back a text and we connected a few minutes later and he confirmed the catch right around the time I saw the first alleged image of the fish pop up on Facebook. As it turned out, I knew the angler behind the rumor—now a hard fact—and I rang him up on my cell phone to get the full story.

After spending an awesome day at Block Island with the guys from Lamiglas testing out some new prototype rods due out later this year, Joe Diorio of Diorio Guide Service took a run back to the island with his good friend, Justin Innes, to see if they could get back on the fish, and get back on them they did! Arriving around sunset, the bite picked up right where it had left off earlier in the day as the duo proceeded to land in the range of 60 striped bass before all was said and done with the majority of the fish between 35 and 45 pounds—a super school for sure!

The bite went right on through the night with both live eels and soft plastics producing fish, but it wasn’t until the sun came up that the really big girls showed up for the party. Joe proceeded to land a 52-pounder on a new Patrick Sebile creation, the Ocean Born Flight Series popper as well as another bass that was teetering between 49 and 51 pounds on a Boga Grip. This in itself is an epic fishing trip in most anyone's book, but they boys weren't done yet.

This 52-pound striped bass landed on a new Patrick Sebile Ocean Born Flight Series popper is a great fish in its own right, but it was not the biggie of this trip.

The fish that really mattered, the big fish of the trip, this season's attempt at breaking the fishy internet, was landed on a 3-way rig with Rattle Sinker and live eel—a classic Block Island rig if there ever was one! After boating the behemoth bass, Joe quickly decided not to harvest her and instead got some measurements, a few photos and released the fish to keep the genes in the pool and to hopefully keep growing and making more future mega bass. The fish taped out at an impressive 54 inches and sported a girth of 32.5 inches. When plugged into the weight formula (girth x girth) x length / 800, the fish comes in at 71.29 pounds.

At 54 inches long and 32.5 inches around, this mega bass landed by Joe Diorio is still out there somewhere, swimming in the waters of Southern New England.

Now many will question the weight as the fish never hit a scale, they always do, but that’s just fine for Joe. As he said, catching the fish and then being able to see her kick off was more rewarding than seeing her hang dead on a tackle shop scale.